8 May 1893
London, England, United Kingdom
|Died||7 September 1978 85) (aged|
Findon Valley, Worthing West Sussex
Charles Williams (8 May 1893 – 7 September 1978) was a British composer and conductor, contributing music to over 50 films. While his career ran from 1934 through 1968, much of his work came to the big screen as stock music and was therefore uncredited.
Williams was born in London as Isaac Cozerbreit in 1893.He began his career as a freelance violinist in theatres, cinemas and symphony orchestras and later studied composition with Norman O'Neill at the Royal Academy of Music. In 1933, he went to Gaumont British Films as composer and stayed there until 1939. He composed for many British films and radio shows and after the end of World War II, he became the conductor of the new Queen's Hall Light Orchestra. Later, he formed his own Concert Orchestra.
He died in Findon Valley, Worthing, West Sussex, aged 85.
He composed many orchestral pieces and marches for his ensembles, which were recorded in the "Mood Music" category of light music and during the 1950s became familiar as film and television signature themes, often in his own recordings:
He also composed the popular piano concerto pastiche, The Dream of Olwen, for the film While I Live . His "Majestic Fanfare" (1935) was used by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) for many years as the signature tune for its radio and television news broadcasts. A version as re-orchestrated by Richard Mills in 1988 is still used for radio news broadcasts.
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