Rory Boyle was born in Ayr. He was a chorister at St George's Chapel, Windsor, and studied composition with Frank Spedding at the RSAMD, as well as piano, organ, clarinet and conducting. A Caird Travelling scholarship enabled him to continue his studies with Lennox Berkeley in London. 'While his Scottish roots are never far away, Boyle's music has a strong, mainstream European, Stravinsky-based rigour, with his own brand of virile, challenging but always comprehensible counterpoint, dissonance which is hard-fought yet never gratuitous, an unsentimental lyricism and unerring sense of architecture' (Nicholas Cleobury). He has won several important awards, most notably the BBC Scottish Composers Prize for Variations on a theme of Orlando Gibbons, and the Zaiks Prize for Winter Music which was premiered in Cracow, Poland.
His list of works covers most genres from large orchestral scores to incidental music for television. He has been commissioned by many festivals, music societies and leading performers, and he has also written extensively for younger players with four children's operas included in the list. His music is performed and broadcast widely both in Britain and abroad, and several works have been recorded on CD. He lives in South Ayrshire and divides his time between composing and teaching at the RSAMD in Glasgow. In 2003 he took up a three year appointment as the Scottish Chamber Orchestra's Composer Laureate for Schools.