Remembering Emeritus Professor Roger Layton

DC6092_8842_Aust Ensemble_foto Keith Saunders
Image: ©Keith Saunders

We are sorry to share with you the sad news that long time supporter of the Australia Ensemble UNSW, Emeritus Professor Roger Layton, died peacefully on Saturday 5 June, surrounded by his family.

Roger was part of the fabric of UNSW and a major figure in the fledgling discipline of marketing in Australia and internationally.

Roger joined our University in 1958 and, when he was appointed Professor of Marketing in 1967, he was Australia’s first. From 1992–2002, Roger was Dean of what was then our Faculty of Commerce and Economics. Throughout his stellar career, he was much awarded and much admired. In 1998 his service to marketing, research and teaching was recognised with his admission as a Member of the Order of Australia.

Roger was a willing mentor and a generous benefactor: in 2018 Roger and Merrilyn Layton established the Layton Emerging Composer Fellowship, for an Emerging Composer to write chamber music works as part of the Australia Ensemble UNSW’s outreach program. Roger leaves an impressive and valuable legacy and he will be sadly missed. The musicians of the Australia Ensemble UNSW wrote him a note of support during our last concert week in April, which was warmly received by Roger and his family.

Professor Roger Layton and Nicole Murphy image: Keith Saunders

"I was fortunate to be the inaugural Layton Composer Fellow in 2018. Through this Fellowship, the Layton’s generosity afforded me the opportunity to explore and create in collaboration with the musicians of the Australia Ensemble UNSW. An unexpected benefit was the opportunity to become more familiar with Roger’s research output. 

"When reading an article by Roger, I was struck by the similarities in language used to describe marketing systems in his work and the language used to describe music. Many descriptive sentences could have been taken directly from a review of a piece of music - phrases such as 'ever-changing whirlpools … bubbling with the promise of more permanent patterns and structures' sparked my imagination and ultimately resulted in a composition for clarinet and piano, Exchange, that paid homage to Roger's expansive body of work in the field of marketing, and his generous contribution to the creation of new knowledge in the field of composition by using his research as stimulus." - 2018-19 Layton Emerging Composer Fellow, Nicole Murphy


Ian Whitney, Harry Sdraulig and Paul Stanhope Layton Emerging Composer Fellowship"It is a real privilege to have been one of the first recipients of the Emerging Composer Fellowship that Roger so generously supported. I feel very fortunate to have had the honour of meeting Roger during my first workshop for the fellowship with the Australia Ensemble back in March. It meant a lot that he overcame considerable discomfort to attend in person, and I was immediately struck by his warm, supportive demeanor and obvious curiosity for the musical experience unfolding in front of him" - 2019-20 Layton Emerging Composer Fellow, Harry Sdraulig


"I had the pleasure of meeting Roger at the Layton Fellowship Workshop in early 2021. In our discussion, he shared his keen insight in how he saw the relationship between music and his own discipline of marketing that demonstrated his love of both topics and his inquisitive intellect! His passionate and vital support of Australian composers through the Layton Fellowship has left an important legacy on how Australia sounds." - 2020-21 Layton Emerging Composer Fellow, Ian Whitney

Roger Layton Image: UNSW Archives

In memory of Professor Roger Layton AM and in lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations to UNSW Sydney supporting two of Roger’s passions, either Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA) or Australia Ensemble.

To make a tax deductible donation in support of:

Australia Ensemble UNSW go to:

Centre for Healthy Brain and Ageing (CHeBA)go to:

If you prefer to send a cheque you can address as follows: University of NSW – in memory of Roger Layton and send to: J.Hall, G30 The Chancellery, UNSW Sydney 2052

Vale Emeritus Professor Roger Layton.