Lindsay Aked was raised in country New South Wales and received tuition as a vocalist and keyboard player from an early age. He was encouraged to develop skills in improvisation and keyboard harmony which were the basis of his later development as a composer. During the war years a number of his compositions were broadcast nationally, and on completion of his secondary schooling he was awarded a scholarship for training as a specialist music teacher in secondary schools. He completed his DipTMus at the State Conservatorium of Music and Sydney Teachers' College in 1950, his teachers including Alex Burnard, Raymond Hanson and Noel Nickson for composition. Aked's early settings of the poems of Kenneth Slessor and John Shaw Nielson achieved some public notice, and were recorded by the ABC and Brolga.
Aked's first position was at Sydney Technical High School in Sydney, but in 1954 he was transferred, against his will, to the Head Office of the Department of Education to become Supervisor of Instrumental Music. He remained in this position for more than 20 years, developing a comprehensive program of orchestras, bands and ensembles. He was also often called upon to make special music arrangements to suit particular groups, and arranged all music for the ABC singing broadcasts given by Terence Hunt. He was appointed Inspector of Schools in 1975, which involved him in the assessment of teachers and schools, the formulation of new music syllabuses and their introduction from primary school to senior secondary levels.
Much of Lindsay Aked's music has been written for children, including a number of song cycles which have been performed both in the classroom and in the Sydney Opera House. However, he has also composed for the Sydney and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras. His first 'serious' instrumental work was Divertimento for descant recorder and keyboard, which was published in 1975, and since then (with the encouragement and support of Helen and Howard Oberg) he has produced a number of works covering various stages of development in recorder playing. Some of these are included in current AMEB syllabuses.
Lindsay Aked's style of composition remains essentially melodic and clearly structured. He aims at producing music which is a suitable challenge to particular stages of development and which, at the same time, is enjoyable both for performer and listener. It has been said that his music is somewhat reminiscent of Elgar, Vaughan Williams and other English composers, which he regards as a compliment rather than a criticism.
2008 finds Lindsay Aked still actively involved in composition. He has completed a number of vocal works for the Lane Cove Ladies’ Choir, revised earlier music and responded to requests for specific music for special purposes.
Sadly Lindsay passed away in 2010.
Lindsay was award posthumourly with an OAM in the 2011 Australia Day Honours for his contribution to education and the arts over many years.
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