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David Bedford


A composer who is instinctively creative to his very fingertips
The Daily Telegraph

One of the most creatively alert and endearing figures in modern British music.
The Guardian

David Bedford will be celebrating his 70th birthday in 2007. David was born in London into 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 took part in several Britten premieres.

He began composing at the age of seven and went on to study at the Royal Academy of Music (RAM) 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 (The Orchestral Tubular Bells), Madness (Our House), Elvis Costello, Frankie goes to Hollywood, Enya, Billy Bragg and many more.

He has also made 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 David Bedford's work is composing for educational purposes – in the early 1960s he was the first composer in this country to go into schools and initiate creative work with pupils. His music in this genre ranges from small pieces for pupils with little or no musical knowledge, to 7 school operas.

For over 40 years he has received commissions from major orchestras, festivals, ensembles and soloists and many BBC commissions, including four for the Proms.

Some of his recent projects have included From Clocks to Stars for the combined forces of the Harlow Chorus, 100 schoolchildren, the Hilliard Ensemble, percussion group Ensemble Bash and organ, and The City and the Stars for the Crouch End Festival Chorus with orchestra, featuring Arthur C. Clarke as narrator.

Recent CD releases have included a CD single of his popular Recorder Concerto; 12 Hours of Sunset, his cult classic from the 1975 Proms and a rerelease of his 2 poems of Kenneth Patchen for chorus.

David is married with 3 children aged 8, 6 and 2, and lives in Bristol.

His interests include: cricket, science fiction, murder mysteries, films in general (and especially horror films), browsing in bookshops, ancient history and playing tennis.

David is greatly looking forward to working with the members of Making Music and to starting work on the commission for chorus, with optional instrumental accompaniment in September.

He will be setting poems from various sources based on a single subject. The work will be a total of 20 minutes duration but will be written in sections.

These sections will be sent out to participating choruses as they become ready and David will be happy to receive feedback from choral societies about each section.

David is also very happy to attend rehearsals of the work.
     Evan Dawson, 0870 909 2615  
     evan@makingmusic.org.uk  
     Making Music, 2-4 Great Eastern Street, London EC2A 3NW  
       
David Bedford Commission   Register to Take Part
Following the success of the commission by Max, we are delighted to offer Making Music members this new opportunity.   Be one of the commissioning groups or individuals. Perform the new work during its first season and enjoy the benefits of the publicity.