Aubrey Meyer


Aubrey Meyer was born in Yorkshire in 1947. He was raised in Cape Town, South Africa from 1952. In 1968 he gained a Bachelor of Music from the Music College at the University of Cape Town (UCT). He won the Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) scholarship for two years' study abroad. From 1969 to 1971 he studied at the Royal College of Music in London. There he studied composition with Phillip Cannon and viola with the late Cecil Aronowitz. He won the International Music Company Prize and the Stanton Jeffries Music Prize. After the Royal College, he earned his living playing viola in orchestras: principal viola in the Scottish Theatre Ballet (1971), Ulster (1972), Gulbenkian Orchestra, CAPAB Orchestra and as a rank-and-file player in the Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet and finally in the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Meyer has lived in London since 1980. During this period he continued composing. His one-act ballet ‘Exequy’ led to the award of a Master of Music degree in composition from UCT. In 1980, he returned to London, combining composition with playing and his ballet score 'Choros' for the Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet for a ballet by David Bintley, won an Evening Standard Award (1984), and earning good reviews for both 'Exequy' and 'Choros'.

In 1988, while looking for a theme for a new composition, he heard about environmentalist Chico Mendez, who had been assassinated for trying to prevent the destruction of the Brazilian rainforest. He then abandoned music for the UK Green Party of England and Wales. He co-founded the Global Commons Institute (GCI) in 1990 to start a programme to counter the threat based on the founding premise of ‘Equity and Survival’. At the request of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1992, Meyer conceived and presented his analysis of ‘The Unequal Use of the Global Commons’ to Working Group Three of the IPCC Second Assessment Report. This was dubbed ‘Expansion and Divergence’ and led to an international rejection at the UN climate negotiations in 1995 of the global cost-benefit analysis of climate change by some economists from the US and UK.

GBLondon, United Kingdom


Aubrey Meyer
Profile added by SAMRO FOUNDATION on 24 Feb 2015