Composer. Born in Glasgow, Chisholm trained with the organist at Glasgow Cathedral and studied the piano at the Glasgow School of Music (now the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama). He deputised for the Cathedral organist at the age of only twelve. In 1929, he founded the Active Society for the Propagation of Contemporary Music in Glasgow, with fellow composer Francis George Scott (1880 - 1958) as Vice President, which was able to promote the first public performances of many works, including now well-known composers such as Bartok, Berlioz and Hindemith. He attended the University of Edinburgh, gaining a doctorate in 1934. In 1946, Chisholm was appointed to the Chair of Music at the University of Cape Town.
His works include a First Piano Concerto, based on the pibroch form and a Second Piano Concerto, which was based on his studies of Indian music, a Violin Concerto and a ballet The Forsaken Mermaid. He also published a book of Celtic Folk Songs (1964), which he had arranged for the piano.