David Bedford (1937-2011)

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David Bedford was born in London in 1937 of a musical family, (his grandmother was the composer Liza Lehmann, and his mother, Lesley Duff, was a member of the English Opera Group just after the war and was thus involved in several Britten premières). He began composing at the age of seven and went on to study at the Royal Academy of Music with Lennox Berkeley. A grant awarded by the RAM in 1961 enabled him to study with Luigi Nono in Venice. In the late 60s he played keyboards with Kevin Ayers' cult band 'The Whole World', which led to numerous collaborations with musicians from the rock world, most notably in arrangements for Mike Oldfield, Elvis Costello, Frankie goes to Hollywood, Roy Harper, Propaganda, China Crisis, Enya, Billy Bragg and many more. He has also done orchestrations for the films 'The Killing Fields', 'Supergrass', 'Absolute Beginners', 'Meeting Venus', 'Orlando', and was Choral Coordinator for 'The Mission'. He has written original music for several of the Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense TV series. Another aspect of Bedford's work is composing for educational purposes - he was appointed Youth Music Director of the English Sinfonia in 1986, and Composer in Association in 1994. His music in this genre ranges from small pieces for pupils with little or no musical knowledge, to 7 school operas. He is in frequent demand for creative workshops and composition projects throughout the U.K. and overseas. His innovative approach has led to such works as 'Seascapes' (1986) and 'Frameworks' (1989), in which students are encouraged to create their own music in the context of a public concert with a professional orchestra - these two pieces have so far involved over 4000 students. His largest major educational piece is 'Stories from the Dreamtime', (1991) for 40 deaf children and symphony orchestra. For over 30 years he has received commissions from major orchestras, festivals, ensembles and soloists, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, English Sinfonia, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, John Alldis Choir, Singcircle, Electric Phoenix, Endymion Ensemble, Sir Peter Pears, Jane's Minstrels, BASBWE, The Composers Ensemble, The Aldeburgh Festival, Harrogate Festival, Spitalfields Festival, Chelmsford Festival, Huddersfield Festival, Kings Lynn Festival, Norfolk and Norwich Festival and many BBC commissions including 4 for the Proms. His most recent projects include, 'A Charm of Joy', a commission for choir and strings for the Norfolk and Norwich Festival 1996, where he was composer in residence; a major choral/orchestral commission, 'A Charm of Blessings', for the Spitalfields Festival 1997, and a string quartet commissioned by the Norfolk and Norwich Music Club for the Schidlof Quartet to perform in their 1998 season. He has recently completed an oboe concerto commissioned by the John Lewis Partnership for Nick Daniel for 10 performances in October 1998. Future projects include a major commission from the BBC Symphony Orchestra for a Festival Hall performance in April 1999 as part of the BBC's Sounding the Century series. This will be followed by a commission from the Academy of Ancient Music for a piece for orchestra. This is part of their new policy of commissioning new pieces and is the 2nd in the series which was initiated with a commission from John Tavener.

The SCA online database currently lists 1 scores by David Bedford (1937-2011).
Title Year Instrumentation Mins      Other Information                                         Audio View score Publ.
Hoquetus David 1987 Two pianos 5-6 Released on Dunelm DRD0243 SCA  N/A N/A  

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