|Born||August 13, 1923|
|Died||May 21, 2019 95) (aged|
Aalst, Buren, The Netherlands
|Occupation||Canadian-born composer, conductor and musical arranger.|
Dennis Farnon (13 August 1923 - 21 May 2019) was a Canadian musical arranger, composer and orchestra conductor.
Dennis Farnon was born in 1923 in Toronto, Canada as John Denis Farnon to Robert and Elsie Farnon (née Menzies). He grew up in a musical family, and learned to play the trumpet at age 12. Through his older brother Robert, he enlisted into the Canadian Army Band, also travelling to Europe to entertain the Allied troops during the last years of the war. In his mid-20’s, he moved to Chicago where he played in jazz clubs and pursued studies in conducting, arranging, and orchestration, strongly influenced by the works of Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy, Béla Bartók and Sergey Prokofiev.
Robert Joseph FarnonCM was a Canadian-born composer, conductor, musical arranger and trumpet player. As well as being a composer of original works, he was commissioned by film and television producers for theme and incidental music. In later life he composed a number of more serious orchestral works, including three symphonies, and was recognised with four Ivor Novello awards and the Order of Canada.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
Joseph Maurice Ravel was a French composer, pianist and conductor. He is often associated with impressionism along with his elder contemporary Claude Debussy, although both composers rejected the term. In the 1920s and 1930s Ravel was internationally regarded as France's greatest living composer.
Several years later, he accepted an invitation to Hollywood as musical director for singer Johnny Holiday, and he stayed, continuing to compose, conduct and arrange. In 1956, he was tapped by RCA Records to head their West Coast A & R and signed on as producer, arranger and recording artist.During that time, the Dennis Farnon Orchestra recorded numerous albums, including Magoo in Hi-Fi, over 10 episodes of Mr Magoo cartoon shorts, Chet Atkins in Hollywood, Velvet Carpet – The George Shearing's Quintet, The Enchanted Woods, Songs From The Motion Picture Gigi with singers Gogi Grant and Tony Martin (American singer), and Caution! Men Swinging.
RCA Records is an American record label owned by Sony Music, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America. It is one of Sony Music's four flagship labels, alongside RCA's former long-time rival Columbia Records, Arista Records, and Epic Records. The label has released multiple genres of music, including pop, classical, rock, hip hop, electronic, R&B, blues, jazz, and country. Its name is derived from the initials of its defunct parent company, the Radio Corporation of America (RCA). It was fully acquired by Bertelsmann in 1986, making it a part of Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG); however, RCA Records became a part of Sony BMG Music Entertainment, a merger between BMG and Sony Music, in 2004, and was acquired by the latter in 2008, after the dissolution of Sony BMG and the restructuring of Sony Music. It is the second oldest record label in American history, after sister label Columbia Records.
Chester Burton Atkins, known as "Mr. Guitar" and "The Country Gentleman", was an American musician, occasional vocalist, songwriter, and record producer, who along with Owen Bradley and Bob Ferguson, among others, created the country music style that came to be known as the Nashville sound, which expanded country music's appeal to adult pop music fans. He was primarily known as a guitarist. He also played the mandolin, fiddle, banjo, and ukulele.
Sir George Albert Shearing, OBE was a British jazz pianist who for many years led a popular jazz group that recorded for Discovery Records, MGM Records and Capitol Records. The composer of over 300 titles, including the jazz standards "Lullaby of Birdland" and "Conception", and had multiple albums on the Billboard charts during the 1950s, 1960s, 1980s and 1990s. He died of heart failure in New York City, at the age of 91.
In 1957, he was one of the five founding members (along with Paul Weston, Lloyd Dunn, Jesse Kaye, and Sonny Burke) of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (now known as The Recording Academy)- the organisation which bestows the annual Grammy Awards.
The Recording Academy is an American learned academy of musicians, producers, recording engineers, and other musical professionals. It is famous for its Grammy Awards, which recognize achievements in the music industry.
In the early 1960s he moved to London, where he learnt about library music and signed up with a number of publishing companies such as Boosey and Hawkes, KPM (now EMI) and Chappell Music. Over the course of the next 20 years, he went on to compose and publish a large volume of library music licensed for film, television, radio and other media. The styles ranged from jazz, funk, drama and romantic to his personal favourite, comedy music, which more recently has appeared in The Ren and Stimpy Show and SpongeBob SquarePants . His movie credits include the score for the 1966 Tony Curtis film Arrivederci, Baby! . For television, he composed music for some episodes of the British children’s series Follyfoot (1971) and wrote the theme for the London Weekend Television production Bouquet of Barbed Wire (1976).
Boosey & Hawkes is a British music publisher purported to be the largest specialist classical music publisher in the world. Until 2003, it was also a major manufacturer of brass, string and woodwind musical instruments.
EMI Group Limited was a British transnational conglomerate founded in March 1931 in London. At the time of its break-up in 2012, it was the fourth largest business group and record label conglomerate in the music industry, and was one of the big four record companies ; its labels included EMI Records, Parlophone, Virgin Records, and Capitol Records, which are now owned by other companies.
Warner Chappell Music, Inc., is an American music publishing company and a division of the Warner Music Group.
As with his brothers Brian and Robert, Dennis Farnon specialised in light music and orchestral arrangements of well-known standards, sometimes writing under the pseudonyms of Paul Gerard and John Dennis.
Light music is a less-serious form of Western classical music, which originated in the 18th and 19th centuries and continues today. Its heyday was in the mid‑20th century. The style is through-composed, usually shorter orchestral pieces and suites designed to appeal to a wider context and audience than more sophisticated forms such as the concerto, the symphony and the opera.
In music, a standard is a musical composition of established popularity, considered part of the "standard repertoire" of one or several genres. Even though the standard repertoire of a given genre consists of a dynamic and partly subjective set of songs, these can be identified by having been performed or recorded by a variety of musical acts, often with different arrangements. In addition, standards are extensively quoted by other works and commonly serve as the basis for musical improvisation. Standards may "cross over" from one genre's repertoire to another's; for example, many jazz standards have entered the pop repertoire, and many blues standards have entered the rock repertoire.
Farnon resided for a short time in Cascais, Portugal, where he worked with various Portuguese composers-singers including Fernando Tordo, Carlos do Carmo and Sérgio Borges. In 1979 he moved again and settled in the Netherlands. He continued writing, producing solo and chamber pieces with the classical guitarist Yves Storms and composing various short piano pieces. In the mid-1990s he was invited to the Hilversum recording studios to work with the celebrated Dutch Metropole Orchestra on a digitally recorded version of the Mother Magoo Suite .
The films Reversal of Fortune (1990), Fever Pitch (2005) and numerous popular television series such as Spiderman, Doctor Who , Sons and Daughters , Prisoner (TV series) and Flying Doctors also carry credits for his work.
He continued to write short piano compositions right up until his death, always favouring lighthearted comical tunes to make people laugh, with titles such as The Camel with the Wooden Leg, Two Doves on a Chimneypot, Grass Valley and Friend, Ms. Penguin and Twinkletoes and Me.
He died in Aalst, Buren on May 21, 2019 at the age of 95.
Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington was an American composer, pianist, and leader of a jazz orchestra, which he led from 1923 until his death over a career spanning more than fifty years.
Ronald Binge was a British composer and arranger of light music. He arranged many of Mantovani's most famous pieces before composing his own music that included Elizabethan Serenade and Sailing By.
Paul Samuel Whiteman was an American bandleader, composer, orchestral director, and violist.
Angela Morley was an English composer and conductor who, as Stott, became a familiar household name to BBC radio listeners in the 1950s. She attributed her entry into composing and arranging largely to the influence and encouragement of the Canadian light music composer Robert Farnon. In 1972, Morley underwent sex reassignment surgery. Later in life, she lived in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Henry Dreyfuss Brant was a Canadian-born American composer. An expert orchestrator with a flair for experimentation, many of Brant's works featured spatialization techniques.
Victor Young was an American composer, arranger, violinist and conductor.
Stanley Newcomb Kenton was an American popular music and jazz artist. As a pianist, composer, arranger and band leader he led an innovative and influential jazz orchestra for almost four decades. Though Kenton had several pop hits from the early 1940s into the 1960s, his music was always forward looking. Kenton was also a pioneer in the field of jazz education, creating the Stan Kenton Jazz Camp in 1959 at Indiana University.
Morton Gould was an American composer, conductor, arranger, and pianist.
Howard David Blake is an English composer, conductor, and pianist whose career has spanned more than 50 years and produced more than 650 works. Blake's most successful work is his soundtrack for Channel 4’s 1982 film The Snowman, which includes the song "Walking in the Air". He is increasingly recognised for his classical works including concertos, oratorios, ballets, operas and many instrumental pieces.
Frank Denny De Vol was an American actor, and using the name De Vol was an arranger and composer. As a composer he was nominated for four Academy Awards.
John Waldo Green was an American songwriter, composer, musical arranger, conductor and pianist. He was given the nickname "Beulah" by colleague Conrad Salinger. His most famous song was one of his earliest, "Body and Soul" from the revue, Three's A Crowd. Green won four Academy Awards for his film scores and a fifth for producing a short musical film, and he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1972. He was also honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
William Joseph Russo was an American composer, arranger, and musician from Chicago.
Stanley Black OBE was an English bandleader, composer, conductor, arranger and pianist. He wrote and arranged many film scores and recorded prolifically for the Decca label. Beginning with jazz collaborations with American musicians such as Coleman Hawkins and Benny Carter during the 1930s, he moved into arranging and recording in the Latin American music style and also won awards for his classical conducting.
Caravelli was a French orchestra leader, composer and arranger of orchestral music.
Victor Albert Davies is an award winning Canadian composer, pianist, and conductor, best known for his opera Transit of Venus and The Mennonite Piano Concerto.
Philip Green, sometimes credited as Harry Philip Green, was a film and television composer and conductor.
Morris Cecil Davis was a Canadian composer, arranger, and conductor. He was sometimes referred to as "Rusty Davis". A largely self-taught composer and orchestrater, he wrote more than 200 jingles for Canadian radio and television. He also contributed incidental music to more than 100 radio and TV programs and composed more than 30 scores for feature films; including the scores to Whispering City (1947), La Forteresse (1947), Le Curé de village (1949), and Tambour battant (1952). He also composed a number of orchestral works, songs, and jazz pieces. His jazz concerto Blues and Finales in G (1942) is written in the style of Rhapsody in Blue, and his Serenade for Trumpet in Jazz was played often in concerts by Maynard Ferguson.
Tony Bennett at the Talk of the Town was a British television series hosted by American pop standards and jazz singer Tony Bennett that aired during 1972. It was staged in London from the Talk of the Town nightclub in conjunction with Thames Television. In the United States and Canada, the programme was known as This Is Music, and was aired in 1974 and 1976, respectively.