Martin Read

A concert in celebration of Martin’s life was held in the Forum Hall on Friday 2nd November 2012, with musical performances from Martin’s family, friends, colleagues and students, both past and present. 

This was an incredibly popular event and was a worthy tribute to Martin's life. Thank you to all musicians who played to make the event come together and to all who came along to support it.

The Forum Hall has now also been officially renamed as the Martin Read Hall.


Martin's influence as a teacher and composer

It was so sad to hear of Martin's death. He was a huge inspiration to me, and certainly one of the biggest influences on my working life. He showed me the exciting possibilities of modern composition, but also how it can relate to education and the community and the joy of passing that passion on to new generations of musicians and composers.
I have such fond memories of Alton College, especially the Jazz Band and his entertaining, often unconventional A-level classes! It was great to catch up with him at Corsham festival for his opera some years later. I am certain that the attitude, enthusiasm and ideas about music that I saw in him when I was 17 still shape the way I think about my own composing and teaching to this day.

Richard Barnard

Over the last 15 years Martin

Over the last 15 years Martin has enabled our students and myself to take part in many different live workshops and performances. We finally even managed to have a joint TPS and Alton Jazz evening at the Studio this April which was just brilliant and inspirational. Attending the funeral service today was testament to the impact he had on so many lives with the huge number of people inside and outside listening through the speakers. We'll continue to build on the ideas you have set in motion and remember you always.


Nat Voller on behalf of Pete's Jazz and TPS

Martin Read

How seldom one meets anyone so richly gifted and yet so completely without ego or self-regard. We were two composers living in Winchester, both involved in FE or HE, and it would have been easy for a lesser man to be a little wary or to turn his back, even though I was working mainly in London and he in Hampshire. But Martin was the most generous and warm-hearted of colleagues. I wish work had allowed us to see more of each other socially, but our solidarity was something I shall remember with deep gratitude - and I know just how hugely blessed his students at Alton were to have such a person as their guide. Twice in the past decade I was able to lure Martin out from Alton to give a guest composer lecture to my own students at London College of Music in Ealing, and both times his presence led to a snowstorm of student requests for him to return (alas, the second of those pleas must now remain unanswered). I was privileged to hear some of his Alton students' work at a Winchester concert in St John's House less than a year ago, when it was plain to everybody present that what was going on at Alton was nothing ordinary: there was a real and vivid sense of creative excitement in the compositions performed that evening, - the feeling of these young composers being artistically 'let loose in the toyshop' and revelling in what they had been empowered to do through the inspired guidance of Martin and his colleague Pande. Martin would have been first to say that, in the very best teaching situations, mentors may learn as much from their pupils as the other way around. That might seem far-fetched, given the richness of his talents; but read these tributes, and you cannot fail to be struck by the way in which so many have been touched by Martin's willingness to treat everyone the same. In the quietest, most unassuming way, he upheld the essential democracy and sheer wonder of shared discovery that are at the heart of music; and, also in the quietest and most unassuming way, he was 'a great man'  - one measure of which is how quickly he would have gently ridiculed any such suggestion himself. I shall miss him more than I can possibly describe, - we met too little, but a person like this changes the way one thinks, and leaves a lasting legacy of good. Never to be forgotten. Thank you Martin, - you were - and are - a class act.




At this very sad time

I just wanted to say that my thoughts are with his family who have had stolen away from them a very special person. Even in my brief time of knowing him his warmth and  humanity shone through and I am very grateful for the very positive influence he had on my son. A huge loss and and an unspeakable sorrow for his family.In my thoughts.


I was so sad to hear the news about Martin's sudden loss. He was a really enthusing, supportive, caring man. So many memories of time spent in his A-level class experiencing such a range of music, and a fascinating array of pubs pre and post concerts! My thought go out to Beccy and his boys.

Sarah-Jane Smith (nee Sym) Alton College '90-'93

We were so sorry to hear the

We were so sorry to hear the sad news about Martin.  He was a great teacher to our daughter.

Mr and Mrs Michael Walsh, Susie Walsh (Alton College 2008-2010)

martin's death

I am absolutely devastated to hear of this loss. Matin was an amazing man, a great teacher and inspirer, a marvellous musician and a true friend. Having worked with him for 12 fabulous years and seen him in action with students at Alton, I know that the place will never be the same again.

Laura Brown (singing teacher 1995- 2007)

Martin Read

 Martin taught me over 20 years ago whilst he was at Eggar's school.  He was a totally amazing teacher and utterly passionate about music.  The ripples of his enthusiasm for his subject will I know continue for many many years.  Anybody who was lucky enough to be in his class would I am sure be greatly saddened by this news.  The effect of Martin will continue and continue.....utterly dedicated, witty and totally inspirational.

martin read

 A truly truly great and inspirational man.  His passion for music was infectious..a musical genius ....epic teacher....what a huge huge loss.   Am utterly shocked. Thoughts to the Read family.

Martin Read, an incredible teacher and man.

It's twenty years since I first walked into a Martin Read classroom, and what a truly transforming experience that was. I'm not sure I have the words to adequately describe just how much I enjoyed those two years on planet Martin, but by god they were good.  More than just a skilled teacher full of knowledge and enthusiasm about his subject. Martin managed to instill his enthusiasm and profound enjoyment in music into us, and more than that he brought out the best in all of us encouraging and gently pushing us to achieve all that we could.  I left Alton College with an A Level in music, and 2 years worth of smiles, knowledge, laughter, and cameraderie.  Thankyou Martin for bringing this once shy girl out of her shell and all you have done for me and the hundreds of other students that have benefitted from your genius.

Rowena Rogers (class of 94)

Martin was an inspirational

Martin was an inspirational teacher who gave huge amounts of time and personal investment into every production and activity in which he was involved.....his commitment to students and their development was second to none. I will always remember thinking how many amazing productions and events he used to organise and oversee (both for College students and the wider community), as they were always on the staff email or advertised around College for students or in the local press..... Martin Read, exceptional in every way.

Martin Read

I am extremely saddened by this news and my love and sympathies go out to his family. Martin was the most inspirational teacher I have ever encountered and I consider myself extremely priviledged to have been taught by him. I will always be grateful for the opportunities he gave me to develop as performer and to perform his, and other contemporary, works. Not only was he an excellent composer, Martin's ability to make us see things in new ways, make us laugh and yet push us to ensure we reached our full potential is something I will never forget about him: the best teacher I ever had.

Kate Abery (nee Gordon) Alton College 1991-3

A man who cared deeply for his students

From my experience working with Martin he was passionate about music and did everything possible to encourage his students

The Foundation did it's best to respond to his requests because he was so passionate, we could not always do everything he wanted but we tried and he always appreciated that. He was very convincing!

He will be sorely missed and our condolences go to his family.

Trevor Heley

Managing Director

Alton College Foundation



Martin Read

A truly remarkable man who has left a wonderful legacy through the students he inspired.

Jackie & Ian Jurd

Martin Read

Martin was a lovely man, great to work with, full of humour, an inspirational musician and teacher. He will be a massive loss to us all.  I am glad to have had the privelidge of working with him and benefitting from his wisdom, knowledge and kindness. My thoughts go out to his family.





We are so sorry to hear.  He inspired our daughter so much and was instrumental in her success.  He was so dedicated to his students.  The gap will never be filled.  I could write pages, but I feel I would never be able to express adequately how sad this is.  Sue Hubbard


Our condolences

Our thoughts are with Martins family right now, during this incredibly sad time. I cannot thank Martin enough for the time and energy he showed our son, enough so to get him where he is today. His tireless dedication to "difficult" students, we thank you for that.

God Bless Martin


Jane and Ian Simpson

Very sad news. Martin

Very sad news. Martin encouraged me to apply to Music College. If it wasn't for him I doubt I would be making a living as a Professional Musician.


Martin Read

I am very sorry and deeply saddened to hear about the tragic and sudden news on Martin  I simply wish to express my condolances to the Music department and to the family of Martin. The music generated y Martin was truly insprirational and his passion for the subject was always evident in the various concerts performed in so many different venues. Jin Hudson

Martin Read

Such sad news.  He will be greatly missed.

A former music student from the late 90's.


Martin Read

I am indescribably sad to hear of Martin's death. He was a great musician, a great teacher and a dear friend. Deepest sympathy to his family.

John Lofthouse

Amazing and Inspirational

I was fortunate to work with Martin over 5 years and during that time, I found such a bright, funny and engaging man who was passionate about music, his students and the community. I am thoroughly shocked and distraught about his untimely passing and my thoughts go to Beccy and their children and to the College team who work closely with this great and inspirational man. What a tremendous loss to us all. Nicky Redmond