Gareth Morris

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Gareth Morris
Birth nameGareth Charles Walter Morris
Born13 May 1920
Clevedon, Somerset, England
Origin London, England
Died14 February 2007(2007-02-14) (aged 86)
Genres Classical
Instruments Flute
Years active19391971
Associated acts Philharmonia Orchestra

Gareth Charles Walter Morris (13 May 1920 14 February 2007) was a British flautist. He was the principal flautist of a number of London orchestras including the Boyd Neel Orchestra before joining the Philharmonia Orchestra. He was the principal flautist of this orchestra for 24 years and Professor of the Flute at the Royal Academy of Music from 1945 to 1985. Morris was known for using a wooden flute, at a time when most other players had switched to using metal flutes.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom (UK), officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, informally as Britain, is a sovereign country lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Philharmonia Orchestra British Orchestra based in London

The Philharmonia Orchestra is a British orchestra based in London. It was founded in 1945 by Walter Legge, a classical music record producer for EMI. Among the conductors who worked with the orchestra in its early years were Richard Strauss, Wilhelm Furtwängler and Arturo Toscanini; of the Philharmonia's younger conductors, the most important to its development was Herbert von Karajan, who though never formally chief conductor was closely associated with the orchestra in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The Philharmonia became widely regarded as the finest of London's five symphony orchestras in its first two decades.

Gareth Morris was born in Clevedon, Somerset, England and was educated at Bristol Cathedral Choir School. He began to play the flute when he was aged 12, and subsequently studied privately with Robert Murchie. At 18 he won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music where his main teacher was Charles Stainer. At the Academy he met Dennis Brain and became his lifelong friend. Morris was best man for Brain's wedding. Morris's Wigmore Hall debut was in 1939 and he played in chamber music groups, including the Dennis Brain Wind Ensemble and the London Wind Quintet. During the Second World War he joined the Royal Air Force and was principal flute in the RAF Symphony Orchestra.

Clevedon town and civil parish in North Somerset, England

Clevedon is a town and civil parish in the unitary authority of North Somerset, which covers part of the ceremonial county of Somerset, England. It has a population of 21,281 according to the United Kingdom Census 2011. It lies among a group of small hills, including Church Hill, Wain's Hill, Dial Hill, Strawberry Hill, Castle Hill, Hangstone Hill and Court Hill which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest along the Severn estuary. Though mentioned in the Domesday Book, Clevedon grew in the Victorian period as a seaside resort and in the 20th century as a dormitory town.

Somerset County of England

Somerset is a county in South West England which borders Gloucestershire and Bristol to the north, Wiltshire to the east, Dorset to the south-east and Devon to the south-west. It is bounded to the north and west by the Severn Estuary and the Bristol Channel, its coastline facing southeastern Wales. Its traditional border with Gloucestershire is the River Avon. Somerset's county town is Taunton.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

Morris succeeded Arthur Gleghorn as principal flute in the Philharmonia Orchestra in 1948. He played at Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation in 1953. The Philharmonia Orchestra had been founded by Walter Legge in 1945 but in 1964 Legge announced that he intended to disband it. However the members dissented from this and agreed that the orchestra should continue, that it should be self-governing, and that it should be renamed the New Philharmonia Orchestra. In 1966 Morris became chairman of this orchestra with Otto Klemperer as the principal conductor. Morris had a close and deeply respectful relationship with Klemperer, but his relationship with Karajan has been described as "at best cordial, but he respected the conductor's talent". [1]

Elizabeth II Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms

Elizabeth II is Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms.

Coronation of the British monarch ceremony (specifically, initiation rite) in which the monarch of the United Kingdom is formally invested with regalia and crowned at Westminster Abbey

The coronation of the British monarch is a ceremony in which the monarch of the United Kingdom is formally invested with regalia and crowned at Westminster Abbey. It corresponds to the coronations that formerly took place in other European monarchies, all of which have abandoned coronations in favour of inauguration or enthronement ceremonies.

Walter Legge English classical music producer

Harry Walter Legge was an English classical record producer, most especially associated with EMI. His recordings include many sets later regarded as classics and reissued by EMI as "Great Recordings of the Century". He worked in the recording industry from 1927, combining this with the post of junior music critic of The Manchester Guardian. He was assistant to Sir Thomas Beecham at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and in World War II played a role in bringing music to the armed forces and civilians.

Klemperer retired in 1971 when he was aged 87, and was succeeded by Lorin Maazel followed by Riccardo Muti. Morris retired shortly afterwards from the orchestra. The press release at the time spoke of "irreconcilable artistic differences" which had contributed to his resignation. However, there was another, possibly more important, factor. While on tour with the orchestra in New York City, Morris was mugged and seriously injured. Amongst these injuries, a nerve in his mouth had been damaged and as a result, he had to completely give up playing the flute. [1] [2]

Lorin Maazel French-American conductor

Lorin Varencove Maazel was an American conductor, violinist and composer. Making his debut at the conducting podium at the age of eight, he embarked on his career in earnest in 1953, establishing a reputation in European concert halls by 1960 but, by comparison, his career in the U.S. progressed far more slowly. However, he would later be appointed music director of the Cleveland Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic, among other posts. Maazel was well-regarded in baton technique and possessed a photographic memory for scores. Described as mercurial and forbidding in rehearsal, he mellowed in old age.

Riccardo Muti Italian conductor

Riccardo Muti, is an Italian conductor. He holds two music directorships: the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra Giovanile Luigi Cherubini. Previously he held posts at the Maggio Musicale in Florence, the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Teatro alla Scala in Milan and the Salzburg Whitsun Festival. Muti has been a prolific recording artist and has received dozens of honours, titles, awards and prizes. He is particularly associated with the music of Giuseppe Verdi.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States and in the U.S. state of New York. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

Morris's flute was originally a Rudall-Carte with open G-sharp and vented D, and later in his career he performed on an instrument bequeathed to him by Robert Murchie. His style was of the English school, with a tight embouchure and he produced a very solid and powerful tone which was also capable of incredible delicacy. He eschewed the use of excessive vibrato. He was said to be "at the forefront of English flute playing for more than half a century". [1] Many composers wrote works for him, including Gordon Jacob and Alan Rawsthorne. During his career he gave the first British performance of Poulenc's Flute Sonata in 1958.


Embouchure or lipping is the use of the lips, facial muscles, tongue, and teeth in playing a wind instrument. This includes shaping the lips to the mouthpiece of a woodwind instrument or the mouthpiece of a brass instrument. The word is of French origin and is related to the root bouche, 'mouth'. Proper embouchure allows instrumentalists to play their instrument at its full range with a full, clear tone and without strain or damage to their muscles.

Vibrato is a musical effect consisting of a regular, pulsating change of pitch. It is used to add expression to vocal and instrumental music. Vibrato is typically characterised in terms of two factors: the amount of pitch variation and the speed with which the pitch is varied.

Gordon Percival Septimus Jacob CBE was an English composer and teacher. He was a professor at the Royal College of Music in London from 1924 until his retirement in 1966, and published four books and many articles about music. As a composer he was prolific: the list of his works totals more than 700, mostly compositions of his own, but a substantial minority of orchestrations and arrangements of other composers' works. Those whose music he orchestrated range from William Byrd to Edward Elgar to Noël Coward.

Morris married first, in 1954, Joy Hazelrigg of Kentucky and they had a daughter, Emily. Following a divorce, in 1975 he married Patricia Murray, with whom he had three children, Thomas, Mary and Catharine. [1] [3]

Kentucky State of the United States of America

Kentucky, officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a state located in the east south-central region of the United States. Although styled as the "State of Kentucky" in the law creating it, (because in Kentucky's first constitution, the name state was used) Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth. Originally a part of Virginia, in 1792 Kentucky became the 15th state to join the Union. Kentucky is the 37th most extensive and the 26th most populous of the 50 United States.

Morris retired to Bristol and there continued to teach. In 1991 he published a tutorial entitled Flute Technique. His other activities included being an adjudicator, an orchestral coach and a lecturer. He frequently taught at the Dartington Summer School. His siblings are Christopher, a music publisher at the Oxford University Press, and Jan Morris, the travel writer. A photographic portrait taken in 1968 by Godfrey Argent is held by the National Portrait Gallery.

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  1. 1 2 3 4 "Gareth Morris". The Daily Telegraph. London. 10 March 2007.
  2. James Jolly, "Flautist Gareth Morris has died". Gramophone, 1 March 2007.
  3. Bell, Sebastian (28 February 2007). "Gareth Morris". The Guardian. London.