Andrew Chapman writes:

For twenty five years I was a GP in the Gloucestershire market town of Tewkesbury. I enjoyed the work, being convinced of the importance and special nature of general practice. I became much involved in GP education both within my practice and, more widely in the South West Region of the NHS. In 1997 I became ill in a way that meant that I had to leave medicine. After an interval or around four years I embarked on a second career as a writer and composer. Beyond the Silence was my first book and was published as a paperback in 2010. My next book, Ikon, a historical novel set in the Near East in the fifteenth century was published in May 2012. My third book, The Leaving, will be published in September 2015.

I read extensively and I suppose my favourite writers are Sebastian Barry, author of The Secret Scripture and John le Carré. In 2010 I appeared at the Cheltenham Literary Festival.

My musical compositions include a Concerto for Cello and Orchestra (2005)and a Sinfonietta for orchestra (2007). Both these works were premiered by the Cheltenham Symphony Orchestra in Tewkesbury Abbey. I continue to play with that orchestra as a cellist and for 12 years was part of its management team. My musical tastes are eclectic but I have a special penchant for the music of Gustav Mahler and also the jazz pianist, Thelonius Monk. My current (2012) composing project is a violin concerto.

I suppose that my writing and composing stems from a single year when I was at school. I was a precocious young man and completed my science A levels when I was still 16. Being too young to take up my medical school place I stayed on at school for an extra year to follow the A level course in English and Music. The former brought me into contact with a bizarrely eccentric teacher who convinced me that I could be a writer. Fifty-odd years later I have proved him right.

Studying music was a delight (apart from academic harmony which I avoided). There were enough competent musicians around on whom I could inflict my juvenile compositions. It was a wonderful year.

Of necessity my writing and composing were much in abeyance during my busy years as a GP. From the mid-nineties onwards I produce a number of liturgical compositions which I inflicted on the long suffering church choir that I directed at that time. Composition was greatly enhanced when I discovered Sibelius, the amazing music notation software that was the industry standard for professional and amateur composers.

Elsewhere on this site you can find examples of what I have been able to write in the past decade.

To read an interview with Andrew Chapman click here.

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