Musically, he is grown up at Westminster Abbey Choir School and later at Westminster School. He completed his studies in composition with Gordon Jacob and conducting with William Henry Reed and Reginald Goodall and double bass at the Royal College of Music in London from 1938 to 1940, interrupted by the Second World War and from 1946 to 1947 with Edmund Rubbra, he continued his studies continued.
From 1947 to 1969 he played in all the major orchestras in London. Since 1962 he was professor of music theory and composition at the Royal College of Music from the period 1972 to 1975, he teaches orchestration at the Guildhall School of Music. He was a long time member of the Executive Committee of the Composers' Guild and was a founding member of The British Music Information Centre.
Cruft's oeuvre is very broad.
Works for Orchestra
Works for Concert Band (incl. Brass Bands )
Cantatas and sacred music
- At hymn of heavenly love cantata opus 53, for baritone, two-piece boys' choir, mixed chorus, organ, harp, percussion and string orchestra
- All that began with God motet opus 16, for choir ( SATB) and string orchestra
- Alma mater redemptoris cantata opus 54, for contralto, baritone, chorus (SATB ), flute, oboe, violin, cello and organ
- A Bemerton cantata for mezzo - soprano opus 59, choir, organ, string orchestra, organ and percussion
- Benedictus opus 45
- Lutherian Mass opus 64 for two unequal choirs ( SATB) Kyrie
- Magnificat and Nunc dimittis: Schola Decaniensis opus 33
- Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis: Collegium shelves opus 46
- Medieval prayers opus 82
- Te Deum Laudamus opus 35
- Te Deum Laudamus opus 44
- Two psalms of praise opus 48
- Carillon Suite opus 61 for piano solo
- Chalumeau Suite Opus 81 for Clarinet in B and Piano
- Homage to Johann Sebastian Bach for solo cello
- Impromptu for clarinet or viola and piano opus 22
- Organ Suite opus 69