Guy Woolfenden

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Guy Anthony Woolfenden OBE (12 July 1937 15 April 2016 [1] ) was an English composer and conductor.

Order of the British Empire order of chivalry of British constitutional monarchy

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations, and public service outside the civil service. It was established on 4 June 1917 by King George V and comprises five classes across both civil and military divisions, the most senior two of which make the recipient either a knight if male or dame if female. There is also the related British Empire Medal, whose recipients are affiliated with, but not members of, the order.

Composer person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition

A composer is a musician who is an author of music in any form, including vocal music, instrumental music, electronic music, and music which combines multiple forms. A composer may create music in any music genre, including, for example, classical music, musical theatre, blues, folk music, jazz, and popular music. Composers often express their works in a written musical score using musical notation.

Contents

Biography

Woolfenden was born in Ipswich and educated at Westminster Abbey Choir School, London, and Whitgift School, Croydon. He studied music at Christ's College in Cambridge and went on to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1961 and was Head of Music from 1963 to 1998. He was Artistic Director of the Cambridge Festival from 1986 to 1991. [2] In 1995 he was a founder director of the English Music Festival which became the Stratford on Avon Music Festival. He was the Chairman of the Denne Gilkes Memorial Fund, a charity which supports young musicians and actors. He was the founder of the publishing company, Ariel Music. Woolfenden married Jane Aldrick in 1962 and they had three sons.

Ipswich Town and Borough in England

Ipswich is a large historical town in Suffolk, England, located in East Anglia about 66 miles (106 km) north east of London. It is also the county town of Suffolk. The town has been continuously occupied since the Saxon period, and its port has been one of England's most important for the whole of its history.

Westminster Abbey Choir School is a boarding preparatory school for boys in Westminster, London and the only remaining choir school in the United Kingdom which exclusively educates choristers. It is located in Dean's Yard, by Westminster Abbey. It educates about 30 boys, aged 8–13 who sing in the Choir of Westminster Abbey, which takes part in state and national occasions as well as singing evensong every day and gives concert performances worldwide. Recent tours include to America, Hungary and Moscow. Other tours have included Australia, America and Hong Kong. The school is one of only three choir schools that educate only the male trebles of the choir, the others being Saint Thomas Choir School in New York City and Escolania de Montserrat in Spain. The headmaster is Jonathan Milton, former headmaster of The Abbey School, Tewkesbury. The organist and master of the choristers is James O'Donnell, former Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral.

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.

Conducting and arranging

Woolfenden conducted three productions with the Scottish Opera, as well as the first British productions of Nielsen's Saul and David, Tchaikovsky's Maid of Orleans and Liszt's Don Sanche .

Scottish Opera

Scottish Opera is the national opera company of Scotland, and one of the five national performing arts companies funded by the Scottish Government. Founded in 1962 and based in Glasgow, it is the largest performing arts organisation in Scotland.

Carl Nielsen Danish composer

Carl August Nielsen was a Danish musician, conductor and violinist, widely recognized as his country's most prominent composer.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Russian composer

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, was a Russian composer of the romantic period, whose works are among the most popular music in the classical repertoire. He was the first Russian composer whose music made a lasting impression internationally, bolstered by his appearances as a guest conductor in Europe and the United States. He was honored in 1884 by Emperor Alexander III, and awarded a lifetime pension.

Composing

Woolfenden composed many pieces for wind bands, chamber ensembles and orchestral works, many of which have been recorded.

He composed around 150 scores for the Royal Shakespeare Company. He worked with many major European theatre companies, including the Comédie-Française, Paris; the Burgtheater, Vienna; the Teatro di Stabile, Genoa; and the Norwegian National Theatre, Oslo.

Royal Shakespeare Company British theatre company

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is a major British theatre company, based in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England. The company employs over 1,000 staff and produces around 20 productions a year. The RSC plays regularly in London, Newcastle upon Tyne and on tour across the UK and internationally.

Theatre collaborative form of performing and fine art

Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers, typically actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place, often a stage. The performers may communicate this experience to the audience through combinations of gesture, speech, song, music, and dance. Elements of art, such as painted scenery and stagecraft such as lighting are used to enhance the physicality, presence and immediacy of the experience. The specific place of the performance is also named by the word "theatre" as derived from the Ancient Greek θέατρον, itself from θεάομαι.

Comédie-Française State theatre in Paris, France

The Comédie-Française or Théâtre-Français is one of the few state theatres in France and is considered the oldest active theatre in the world. Established as a French state-controlled entity in 1995, it is the only state theatre in France to have its own permanent troupe of actors. The company's primary venue is the Salle Richelieu, which is a part of the Palais-Royal complex and located at 2 rue de Richelieu on the Place André-Malraux in the 1st arrondissement of Paris.

He also composed music for films such as Work Is a Four-Letter Word (1968) and the 1968 movie version of A Midsummer Night's Dream , as well as the 1974 television version of Antony and Cleopatra .

<i>Work Is a Four-Letter Word</i> 1968 British satirical comedy film directed by Peter Hall

Work Is a Four-Letter Word is a 1968 British satirical comedy film starring David Warner and Cilla Black, in her only acting role in a cinematic film. The film, which directed by Peter Hall, was not well received by critics even though it was based on the award-winning play Eh?. It also marked the acting debut of Elizabeth Spriggs.

<i>A Midsummer Nights Dream</i> (1968 film) 1968 film by Peter Hall

A Midsummer Night's Dream is a 1968 film of William Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by Peter Hall.

Antony and Cleopatra is a 1974 videotaped television production of William Shakespeare's 1606 play of the same name, produced by ATV starring Richard Johnson as Mark Antony, Janet Suzman as Cleopatra, and Patrick Stewart as Enobarbus. It was directed by Jon Scoffield and is an adaptation of Trevor Nunn's Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) production of the play. It features then-little-known Ben Kingsley and Tim Pigott-Smith in small roles.

Awards

His 1977 musical adaptation of The Comedy of Errors won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical.

He was awarded the OBE for his services to music in the New Year Honours List in 2007. [3]

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References

  1. Ariel Music
  2. Who's Who 2004
  3. The Times, 30 December 2006, p53.