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John Lanchbery


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John Arthur Lanchbery OBE (15 May 1923 – 27 February 2003) was an English, later Australian, composer and conductor, famous for his ballet arrangements.

He was born in London and took violin lessons from the age of eight, when he started composing. A scholarship took him to the Royal Academy of Music. This was interrupted by the Second World War. He returned to studies and took part-time work with a music publisher, the Anglo Soviet Music Press. [1] They suggested that he audition for the post of conductor with the Metropolitan Ballet. He made his debut with them at Edinburgh in 1948. Two years later the orchestra collapsed for lack of funds but by then he had learned his craft. Working with choreographer Celia Fanca, Lanchbery wrote The Eve of St Agnes (the story was based on John Keats’ poem of the same name), one of the first commissioned ballets to be shown on BBC television.
He was taken on by Sadler’s Wells company. The first professional ballet choreographed by Kenneth MacMillan was Somnambulism in 1953, with music by Stan Kenton orchestrated by Lanchbery. They also did House of Birds in 1955 (to original music by Federico Mompou). To choreography by Frederick Ashton he arranged La Fille Mal Gardée (original music by Ferdinand Hérold and others) for the Royal Ballet in 1960. This work includes the famous Clog Dance used for many years as a theme tune for Home This Afternoon on BBC radio. Other conductors earn revenues for recordings but for Lanchbery this option barely existed.

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  • piesintheskys44

    ever since i was wee i have loved his adaptions of the classics for the Tales of Beatrix Potter

    16 Ott 2012 Rispondi

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