Northern Lights: Canadian National Conservatory of Music
Born in New Zealand in 1953, Norton began composing early, and, by the age of 16, had an orchestral work performed and broadcast. Completing an honours degree in music from Otago University, Dunedin in 1974, he met with some success as a pianist in New Zealand, playing with the New Zealand Symphony orchestra. He was teaching music in local high schools, freelancing as a composer and arranger, and had also started to play keyboards in a rock band, having becoming interested in jazz and pop. Coming to the UK in 1977, he studied composition at York University with Wilfred Mellers and David Blake, writing a variety of pieces, including choral works, orchestral pieces, piano music and musicals. In 1983, he was signed by Boosey & Hawkes, and the first of the Microjazz series appeared —music which appealed greatly to children and teenagers but was sufficiently rooted in the classical tradition to be useful as teaching material. This was followed by many other award-winning publications for Boosey & Hawkes. Now a well established composer, producer, arranger and educationalist, he has written stage musicals, ballet scores, piano music, popular songs and orchestral music as well as jingles and signature tunes for TV and radio.