Robert Farnon Society Spring Meeting 2012
By Brian Reynolds
May 13th was a lovely day - just right for our Spring Journey Into Melody and it was one to which I had been particularly looking forward - a really special day, with the promise of some live music from the London Salon Ensemble.
Some time before the music was due to start I spotted a piano on stage - and when I see a piano I can't resist playing it! So I serenaded the incoming multitude (whether they wanted it or not!) Fortunately, most had brought their earplugs just in case!
A gentleman called Howard Del Monte (son of composer and guitarist Sydney Del Monte) introduced himself to me, so this gave me an excuse (not that I needed it,) to play his father's often broadcastBows and Bells. Then David Ades and Albert Killman took the stage to present the first part of the programme.
We opened with Robert Farnon's Portrait of a Flirt. Nothing particularly surprising in that you may say, but this version featured David Farnon at the piano - an arrangement which was recently broadcast when the BBC aired some vintage editions of Friday Night is Music Night earlier in the year.
We then listened to the trombone of the late Don Lusher, accompanied by Bob's orchestra in the title tune of that delightful film Young at Heart. This was followed by Wouldn't it be lovely from 'My Fair Lady'. This featured the flugelhorn of Shake Keane. Bob was once again at the helm.
By way of a tribute to one of our members, Sylvia Rix who had recently passed away, David played us one of her favourite pieces Let's Dream of Tomorrow, written by our good friend John Fox and performed by the John Fox Orchestra.
We continued with the Frank Cordell Orchestra playing June is Busting out All Over in the style ofPlayful Pizzicato.
Next came a tribute to an RFS member, the late Uan Rasey (trumpet) with a performance featuring the MGM Symphony Orchestra, of the blues sequence from 'An American in Paris'. Bess, You is My Woman - (George Gershwin's bad grammar, not mine!)
A complete contrast next, as we listened to the Royal Ballet Symphonia playing The Little Dress, this being the first movement of The Breton Suite by Mansel Thomas, a musician whom many older readers will associate with the BBC Welsh Orchestra. This was followed by a Chappell library recording - Sports Flash by Charles Williams, played by the Queen's Hall Light Orchestra.
We always sample some new releases at our meetings and our next item came from a new Guild CD 'Stereo into the Sixties'. We heard Johnny Douglas and the Living Strings play Pedro the Fishermanfrom the film 'The Lisbon Story'. This was followed by Tony Bennett singing Remind Me, accompanied by the Robert Farnon Orchestra.
Malcolm Lockyer was the composer of Stranger than Fiction (originally titled The Big Guitar) and we listened to the recently-departed Bert Weedon playing this very successful number, accompanied by Sidney Torch and his orchestra. This was followed by a track from a forthcoming Guild CD 'The Art of the Arranger Vol 2'. The piece selected was These Foolish Things featuring the Angela Morley Orchestra.
From the album 'A Portrait of Johnny Mathis', Erroll Garner's Misty almost brought Part One to a conclusion. But to whet our appetite for part two, we went to tea to the accompaniment of the BBC Northern Dance Orchestra and Dominique.
Returning, suitably refreshed, we were entertained by The Snake Charmer from Old Bagdad. No - it wasn't a special guest, it was the title of another track from the BBC Northern Dance Orchestra's new double CD 'Diamonds'. Next came a piece which I know very well from listening to military bands:Gee Whizz played by the Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra under Sir Dan Godfrey with Matt King playing the xylophone solo.
This was followed by Once Upon a Time sung by Patricia Lambert with the BBC Midland Light Orchestra conducted by our old friend Harold Rich. This came from a recording of a radio series which Harold did with the orchestra entitled 'Barry Kent Sings'.
It was then time for my 'Radio Recollections' and I began with two pieces from Bernard Monshin and his Rio Tango Band. The first was an exciting paso doble by Jose Mendoza entitled Festa Valesta and that was followed by Wynford Reynolds's concert waltz Morning Glory. I then turned to Maurice Arnold and his Sextet (three violins, piano, bass, guitar and percussion) for a sparkling Latin number calledLavoona, featuring the nimble fingers of Maurice Arnold at the piano, He was also the composer. Taking the tempo down a little, a relaxing beguine by James Warr (Peter Haysom Craddy) entitledBlue Waters played by Raymond Agoult and his Players. Next we heard from violin virtuoso Ralph Elman and his Bohemian Players. As Ralph was Ron Goodwin's leader, it was appropriate that he played a Goodwin original - Messenger Boy. Finally I turned to Reg Pursglove and the Albany Strings for Fredric Bayco's Lady Beautiful.
The programme continued with Haydn Wood's Roses of Picardy which was performed by Frank Sinatra. However this was from a selection of outakes. So we heard Frank's attempts to get it right and, so it seemed, giving up at the end!
Next came Stateside Stroll otherwise known as East of Fifth in a Bruce Campbell arrangement played by the Robert Farnon Orchestra.
To conclude Part two we had a 'mystery tune' - one of a number of Percy Faith recordings which Alan Bunting would dearly like include on a future Guild CD, if only he could identify it. Sadly, nobody could!
After the raffle, we took our second break whilst the stage was set for our very special guests
Now, the moment to which I had personally been looking forward for a long time. Some eighteen months ago I was sitting in the Royal Festival Hall listening to the London Salon Ensemble, something which I had done countless times during the last twenty years, and I turned to Tony Clayden, who was sitting next to me and said "we really have got to invite this orchestra to a Farnon Society meeting!"
Tony agreed and said that he would invite them, and here they were!
The line-up of the orchestra was as follows:
Michael Gray (Solo Violin), Megan Pound and Penelope Gee (violins), Lars Payne (cello), Steve Rossell (double bass), Daryl Griffith (celeste, percussion and occasionally violin), Kevin Darvas (piano) and Neil Varley (accordion).
As I have written an article about the ensemble, which appears following this report, I will simply tell you what they played. It included a number of requests mostly from Tony Clayden and myself!
Their first section came from their standard repertoire and was as follows
Gypsy Blood (March) (J.G. Renner)
Souvenir d'amour (Oliphant Chuckerbutty)
Pirouette (Oliphant Chuckerbutty)
Romany Serenade (Max Morelle)
Phantom of Salome(Waltz) (Archibald Joyce)
The Sirens of Southend (Alfred Reynolds)
At our suggestion the ensemble then played a group of pieces that were regularly heard on the old Light Programme during the sixties.
Hampden Roar (March) (Fred Hartley)
Edelma (Pasillo) (Tereg Tucci)
Heidelberg Polka (Cyril Watters)
Mexican Fire Dance (Albert Marland)
The Westminster Waltz (Robert Farnon)
We were grateful to Ann Adams for lending us the orchestral parts for Edelma and to Lars Payne for spending many hours adapting it for the ensemble - who continued with some more items from their concert repertoire.
In the Park Cafe (Kruger-Hanschmann)
Sunshine Over Capri (Hermann Krome)
Easter Parade in Vienna (Robert Stoltz)
Remembrance(Tango-fantasy) (Helmut Ritter)
Da Capo (Georges Boulanger)
Next, three compositions by the ensemble's self-effacing celeste player, Daryl Griffith who is responsible for composing and conducting much of the music heard in television and film drama.
The New Year Belle
Sunday on the Southbank
The ensemble concluded with three contrasting items
Reconciliation (Percy Fletcher)
Keep Moving (Frederick Charrosin)
Salut d'amour (Edward Elgar)
The final item was specifically requested by Tony as it is a favourite of his fiance Lyn, who was with us in the audience.
We are most grateful to the London Salon Ensemble for agreeing to play for us - and for giving such a superb performance! It brought to an end an afternoon's entertainment that will be difficult to top!
Editor: Brian Reynolds is far too modest about his piano playing. His repertoire covered a wide range of well-known light music pieces, all in very attractive arrangements and performed without any sheet music. Members thoroughly enjoyed his unexpected – and impromptu – recital!
THE LONDON SALON ENSEMBLE
By Brian Reynolds
I was first introduced to the delights of the London Salon Ensemble some twenty years ago, although it had already been in existence for some years. It soon became apparent to me that this was a virtuoso ensemble of classically trained musicians and their regular concerts of light music in the foyers of the National Theatre and the Royal Festival Hall have given me pleasure on countless occasions in subsequent years.
The ensemble usually comprises eight (occasionally nine) musicians and its instrumentation is similar to the BBC's Palm Court Orchestra, with the solo violinist standing out in front, in true Palm Court style.
However, unlike the BBC's 'Grand Hotel' broadcasts which were steeped in nostalgia, the ensemble tackle a broad range of British and Continental light music - some of it familiar, some of it unfamiliar or forgotten.
Many of the personel have remained the same over the years, notably cellist Lars Payne who founded the group, pianist Kevin Darvas, and Daryll Griffith who plays celesta, harmonium, occasionally violin and any percussion effects that may be required. An unassuming man, his listeners are probably unaware that as a composer and conductor he is responsible for much of the incidental music in television drama, as well as on 'the silver screen'. Some of his delightful light music miniatures are featured by the ensemble.
For many years, the solo violin was played by the late Donald Weekes. Nowadays, Michael Gray assumes this role, usually supported by Megan Pound and Penelope Gee, who has also played at 'The Bonnington' when Ann Adams has provided our music. Typically, for a Salon or Palm Court orchestra, an accordion is included and this is expertly played by Neil Varley, who is also a BBC producer for Radio Three and was responsible for the special edition of 'Friday Night is Music Night' broadcast in 2011 on both Radios Two and Three, as part of 'Light Fantastic'.
In recent years, the ensemble has played many times at the Royal Festival Hall and often gives a concert on or near New Year's Day. Until a change of music policy a few years ago, they also played regularly at the National Theatre foyer. They have performed at many prestigious locations in London, including the British Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Barbican Centre, Lambeth Palace and 11 Downing Street. Members of the Royal Family have been entertained by the ensemble at private receptions at St.James's and Kensington Palaces. The ensemble also recorded the incidental music for an ITV production of 'Oliver Twist' - Alan Bleasedale's adaptation of the Dickens novel. The music was nominated for a BAFTA award.
They have twice broadcast live in Brian Kay's Radio Three show and have been the subject of Radio Four's 'Richard Baker Compares Notes' .
They have made a number of CDs which are available through their website. There are quite a number of tracks from these CDs on SPOTIFY www.spotify.com should you require a 'taster' before purchasing.
The available CDs are as follows:
ORIENT-EXPRESS (MeridianCDE 84466)
THE CLASSIC SALON
with Charlotte Page (Meridian CDE84416)
THE ART DECO CAFE (Meridian CDE84361)
THE PALM COURT (Meridian CDE84264)
LOVE'S DREAM (Meridian CDE 84307)
with Miranda Keys and Donald Maxwell
ALFRED REYNOLDS Music from the Theatre
with Miranda Keys/Donald Maxwell (Meridian CDE84308)
The London Salon Ensemble, with their superb performances, have for the last twenty five years, played a major part in keeping light music alive - at a time when others have been trying to bury it. Long may they continue to do so.
The Robert Farnon Society’s Autumn 2012 London Meeting
A Report by Brian Reynolds
Sunday 14th of October had arrived and it was time for our biannual wallow in the wide range of melodic music with which many of us grew up, and which the BBC seems to think isn't wanted anymore! How wrong they are!
As usual, David Ades and Albert Killman welcomed us to 'The Bonnington' and started the ball rolling with Overture for Pia Zadora. This was arranged by Robert Farnon in the mid-eighties with a view to it being used at Pia's concerts. This was followed by The End of a Love Affair/How About Me, again arranged by Bob for Pia.
We then heard My Kind of Town featuring the Robert Farnon orchestra from the Vocalion re-issue 'The Hits of Sinatra'. This was followed by Beautiful Things sung by Tony Bennett. This was arranged by Bob for a film about Italy and was recorded in 1968. However the film was never made!
The last few meetings of our society have been some of the best we've ever had, so it is disappointing that attendances have dropped by some 25%. Of course there may be good reasons for this - the increased cost of travel and the fact that our predominately mature membership are not getting any younger are obvious factors. However, the costs of hiring a room and providing basic refreshments do not reduce. The committee have deliberately avoided increasing admission charges in these somewhat austere times, so members present were requested to fill in a questionnaire detailing various options. These included the options of reducing our meetings to one a year, hiring a smaller room within the hotel or finding a cheaper venue. A vigorous debate ensued and, as you were told in the previous journal, members voted to retain the status quo. So, it's back to the drawing board.
Following this debate, which probably took up more time than was expected, we resumed our music with some new releases. First came a Dolf van der Linden composition Cab Rank from Guild GLCD 5197 " Melody Mixture". This was followed by a medley from John Wilson's orchestra, "Rodgers and Hammerstein at the Movies", recorded at Abbey Road, Studio 2.
The Guild light music series has recently reached its landmark 100th CD (an amazing achievement) and we listened to two of the tracks. Firstly, we heard one of Bob's early pieces Stringtime played by his orchestra and then the Jack Hylton orchestra playing a 1929 recording of Ernie Golden'sToymaker's Dream. Next came a piece by Johnny Mandel, The Shining Sea played by the Frank Cordell orchestra with Don Lusher as the trombone soloist. This was from one of two Cordell LPs recently re-issued by Mike Dutton. This was followed by Bert Barnes's Dainty Miss played by Harold Collins and his orchestra, from the Guild CD "Light music While You Work - Volume 4".
Part one of the programme concluded with David Farnon's Gibson's March (recorded for the Carlin Library).
Suitably refreshed, we welcomed to the platform, our special guest for the afternoon, Iain Sutherland, making a return visit to us by popular demand. David Ades introduced him and played his marchEdinburgh Castle after which Iain told us that this was written as an 'opener' for concerts, way back in the sixties. It is well-known known that Iain conducted the premiere of Robert Farnon's 3rd Symphony. When it was being rehearsed Iain maintained a constant telephone link with Bob, who was ill and confined to bed. By this means Iain ensured that his interpretation of the work was exactly the way Bob wanted it. We then listened to the first movement. Unfortunately the premiere with Iain conducting was not recorded, so the version we heard came from a Canadian broadcast of the north American premiere.This was followed by Iain's recording of Hamish MacCunn's Land of the Mountain and the Flood, perhaps better known as the theme to Sutherland's Law. I well remember attending a "Music While You Work" broadcast in 1983 in which Iain included this piece, and I could not help noticing that the orchestral parts had been altered to read "Iain Sutherland's Law"! Next, we heard Ernest Tomlinson's famous Little Serenade from a CD of the Iain Sutherland Concert Orchestra.
On Iain's previous visit, he told us that he had played for some of the world's most famous classical conductors such as Klemperer, Boult and Sargent. However, he developed an affinity for light music during the early sixties playing for the likes of Raymond Agoult, Bernard Monshin and others - in "Music While You Work" for which only the finest session players were acceptable.
It was now time to hear another of Iain's own compositions.This one was written over fifty years ago and entitled Here's to Holidays; it was played by the Symphonia Orchestra conducted by Curt Anderson, and is the title track of a Guild CD due to be released in May or June this year. This was followed by two pieces from a recent Iain Sutherland CD - Playful Scherzo by Peter Hope and Covent Garden by Eric Coates.
David Ades then asked Iain if he could recall his first broadcast as a conductor and Iain explained that he had been approached by the BBC's Head of Light Music, Andrew Gold, who being aware that Iain had conducting experience, asked him if he would like to do a 'Music While You Work', guest-conducting the BBC Scottish Variety Orchestra. The resident conductor, Jack Leon was close to retirement, so Andrew Gold probably saw Iain as a possible successor, which indeed was what transpired. At that point, to Iain's amazement, David Ades played him part of the actual broadcast - the signature tune Calling All Workers and the opening number Viva Villa by Jack Leon. I have to say that this was a 'set up' between David Ades and myself, as I happen to possess this recording! I was then invited to formally present the recording to Iain.
Iain spent seven years in Scotland as conductor of the Scottish Variety Orchestra (which he renamed Scottish Radio Orchestra) and later conducted the London-based BBC Radio Orchestra, as well as countless appearances in 'Friday Night is Music Night', conducting the BBC Concert Orchestra.
Iain's part of the programme was completed with his own arrangement of a selection from Me and My Girl. I think we all felt that asking Iain Sutherland back had been very worthwhile!
Iain then assisted with the raffle before we took our second break.
We returned to our seats to the accompaniment of John Williams' Olympic Fanfare and Theme, in celebration of his 80th birthday.
Vernon Anderson then came to the stage to talk about the career of Dudley Moore. He played us excerpts from a two-CD set of a concert in Sydney on 2nd. May 1968. Dudley Moore introduced it and we heard the Dudley Moore Trio play Rainy Day. This was followed by what might be described as a comedy madrigal. We listened to Die Flabergast in which Dudley sang as a soprano, and Richard Rodgers Lover played in the style of Errol Garner, but including quotes from the works of classical composers. Next came Strictly for the Birds and to conclude, the inevitable Goodbye with which Dudley often ended his shows with Peter Cook.
David then played us When Sunny Gets Blue with the Robert Farnon Orchestra. This came from the 'Vocalion' re-issue "Portrait of Johnny Mathis"
It was now time for my 'Radio Recollections' feature in which I play vintage recordings from the days when the BBC took light music seriously. I began with a march called The London Scottish (Haines) played by Ronnie Munro and his Orchestra. This gave me the opportunity to mention a new CD with which I have been involved called 'Music While You Work - vol.3', which contains this, and 27 other 'off-air' excerpts from the series. The CD is available from Frank Bristow in Australia and is (hopefully) reviewed elsewhere in the magazine. I then featured the Band of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps playing a composition of my own called Regency Rumba. I continued with pianist Maurice Arnold and his Sextet playing the curiously titled Bossa Nova Minus One, composed by Maurice Arnold himself. This was followed by Sydney Del Monte's often broadcast Bows and Bellsperformed by Ralph Elman and his Bohemian Players. Time was now marching on and I had to omit the final piece which I will play next time.
At this point Albert Killman paid tribute to David Ades for the amazing achievement of over 100 light music CDs on the Guild Label. Of course, no such tribute would be complete without acknowledging the enormous part played by Alan Bunting, in remastering thousands of recordings!
We then heard a BBC transcription disc from about 1949. This was Robert Farnon's arrangement ofNight and Day played by Bob's orchestra, with vocals from Kathryn Oldfield and Denny Vaughan.
To conclude we listened to part of Bob's Nautical Trilogy, conducted on this Carlin recording by David Farnon. It brought to an end a most satisfying afternoon of music. Roll on May!
Although I had been familiar with the name of Iain Sutherland since his conducting debut on radio in the mid-sixties, it wasn't until the BBC revived 'Music While You Work' in the
early eighties that I got to meet him - and attend four of his broadcasts. I well recall that he showed me a book containing requests from listeners, from which he was selecting pieces for each broadcast. The producer was the late Charles Clark-Maxwell and I remember that on one occasion, he called out over the loudspeaker "Could you record 'Elizabethan Serenade' again Iain - I want to put a fade-out ending on it". Horrified - I instinctively caught Iain's eye, waved furiously at him, mouthing "No! No! No!". Iain immediately turned to the microphone saying "No thank you Charles - I'm quite satisfied with it as it is!" I must say, that as a mere mortal, I was quite pleased to have had so much influence!
On another occasion, having just rehearsed Haydn Wood's 'Montmartre', Iain turned to his leader saying "Bet you haven't heard that in twenty years!" The leader said " No - but it's very nice". Responding, Iain boomed "Of course it's nice, light music is nice!"
Iain has kindly provided the society a resume of his quite extensive career. So here it is:
IAIN SUTHERLAND, during his 40 year association with the BBC, was Principal Conductor of the BBC Radio Orchestra in London, the BBC Scottish Radio Orchestra, and the Guest Conductor of the award winning "Friday Night is Music Night" with the BBC Concert Orchestra. He appeared twice at the Edinburgh International Festival with the BBC Scottish Radio Orchestra, and on numerous occasions at the BBC International Festival of Light Music with both the BBC Radio Orchestra and the BBC Concert Orchestra, at the Royal Festival Hall.He was also Principal Conductor of the City of Glasgow Philharmonic Orchestra , and has appeared as a Guest Conductor with:-
London Symphony Orchestra; Philharmonia Orchestra; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Royal Scottish National Orchestra; Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; Halle Orchestra; City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; English Chamber Orchestra; Ulster Orchestra; English Haydn Orchestra; Scottish Festival Orchestra; Slovak Philharmonic; Brazilian National Symphony; Capetown Philharmonic; Graz Symphony; Dessau Philharmonic; Maribor Philharmonic; NDR Hanover Philharmonic; Flemish Radio Philharmonic; Aalborg Symphony; Belgian Radio Philharmonic; Norwegian Radio Orchestra; Danish Radio Orchestra; Promenade and Metropole Orchestras of Netherlands Radio; Munich Radio Orchestra; Kaiserslautern Radio Orchestra ; National Youth Orchestra of Scotland; National Youth Orchestra of Norway; Orchestra of the National Centre for Orchestral Studies in London.
International soloists with whom Iain Sutherland has performed include:-
Peter Auty; Larry Adler; Moira Anderson: Nicola Benedetti; Malcolm Bilson; Angela Brownridge; Sarah Brightman; Isobel Buchanan; Ronald Brautigam; Robert Cohen; Helga Dernesch; Maria Ewing; Michael Feinstein; James Galway; Evelyn Glennie; Chloe Hanslip; Nigel Kennedy; Katia and Marielle Lebeque; Julian Lloyd-Webber; Tasmin Little; Benjamin Luxon; Kenneth McKellar: Murray McLachlan; Sherrill Milnes; Julia Migenes; Dennis O’Neill; Joshua Rifkin; Crispian Steele-Perkins; George Shearing; Mel Torme ;Robert Tear; Willard White; Robert White; John Wallace.
Iain Sutherland’s repertoire encompasses baroque, classical, romantic and contemporary works, as well as the repertoire of Vienna, Hollywood, Broadway and International Light Music. He also appears regularly at the English Haydn Festival with the period instrument English Haydn Orchestra:-
"...................but surely the high spot was the performance of the rare symphony no.62 in D. The splendidly clear account under Iain Sutherland showed it to be the equal of any of its period".
Haydn Society Journal.2004.
He has conducted many choral/orchestral concerts, and gave two performances of Britten’s "War Requiem" in Bratislava with the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus under the auspices of the British Council. On 7th. July 2006,the first anniversary of the "7/7"terrorist attack on London, he was invited to conduct the "Requiem" by Mozart, with the London Orpheus Chorus and Philharmonic Orchestra in a memorial concert at St. Bottolph’s in the City.
Premieres he has conducted include the Mike Oldfield/David Bedford symphonic version of "Tubular Bells", with Steve Hillage as soloist, a milestone in the annals of rock music (1976); the arrangement for massed brass bands of Elgar’s "Enigma Variations" by Eric Ball at the Royal Albert Hall(1986); Malcolm Arnold’s "Irish Dances" in London(1988); "Movimentos para Don Jose Haydn" by Rene Staar in Graz(1995); "Etude for Orchestra" by Edward Harper in Edinburgh (2000); "Rhapsody Brasilieras" by Ney Rosauro in Rio(2001); Robert Farnon’s Symphony no.3 (Edinburgh) in 2005, in Edinburgh.
Recordings : three new albums released in Summer 2012; "The Merrymakers: British Light Classics" with the Iain Sutherland Concert Orchestra on Alto Records and "In London Town: A musical tour of the historic sights of London" with the Philharmonic Concert Orchestra on the Somm label; both were awarded the accolade of being chosen as Featured Album of the Week by Classic FM, and "Scotland’s Tunes of Glory" on the Delta label, with the City of Glasgow Philharmonic Orchestra, Pipes and Drums and Chorus. Four albums, "The Classics Collection", (Great Scottish Classics/ Irish/Viennese/ Christmas) on the REL label; each is a compilation taken from the "live" broadcasts of Iain Sutherland’s "Pops at the Philharmonic" concerts at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall with the City of Glasgow Philharmonic Orchestra:
"....................with such marvellous programmes, orchestra and conductor, no wonder the City of Glasgow Phil’s concerts are sell outs".
Other recordings include the "Schindler’s List" theme with Tasmin Little and the New World Philharmonic Orchestra : "Simply Maria" with Maria Ewing, "Waltzing in the Clouds" (the music of Robert Stolz),with Julia Migenes and Sebastian Rheintaller and "Celebrating the Great Musicals", all with the BBC Concert Orchestra on BBC Records: Shaun Davey’s celtic epic "The Pilgrim" on Tara Records . Three concept albums, "Phytandros", "The Last Opera" and "Free yourself" for the multi-million selling French contemporary-romantic composer Saint-Preux, on Sony, recorded at Abbey Road Studios with London’s greatest session orchestras; all of the above are available at Amazon.
Iain Sutherland was Musical Director for a series of BBC radio recordings of classic musicals: "Guys and Dolls", "Finian’s Rainbow", "My Fair Lady", "The Music Man", Kiss Me Kate", "Sweet Charity" and Stephen Sondheim’s legendary "Follies", which was recorded at a Gala concert at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, which the composer attended. All-star casts for these recordings included:- John Barrowman, Tom Conti, Mary Carew, Anita Dobson, Jim Dale, Marilyn Hill Smith, Bonnie Langford, Julia Migenes, Julia McKenzie, Ron Moody, Donna McKechnie, Claire Moore, Milo O’Shea, Denis Quilley, Elizabeth Seal. For NDR Hanover he recorded Bernstein’s "Candide" and "West Side Story" with the NDR Philharmonic and Principal Artists of Hanover Opera. He was also Musical Director of many long running BBC TV shows . In London’s West End, he was Musical Director of Meredith Wilson’s "The Music Man" starring Van Johnson and Noel Coward’s "Sail Away" starring Elaine Stritch. His "Pops at the Philharmonic" concerts and appearances at the Summer Proms at Kenwood House, Glamis Castle and other Stately Homes around the UK, are popular not only for his choice of repertoire, but also for his informal yet informative introductions.
".................so smooth and mellow is conductor Iain Sutherland that, whatever the music, he usually manages to steal the show".
He has been honoured to conduct for many Royal Charity concerts, including the Royal Variety Show, and personally organised a series of Supper Concerts on the theme of Music and Verse, in the presence of the Royal Patrons of the charities concerned, at St. James’ Palace and the Banqueting Hall of Whitehall Palace. Along with the English Chamber Orchestra, distinguished artists who took part included the Lord Attenborough, Dame Judi Dench, Robert Hardy OBE, Hannah Gordon, Sir Ben Kingsley, Joanna Lumley and Timothy West CBE.
Iain Sutherland has taken part in many varied radio and TV programmes including the panel game, "Call My Bluff". He has also spoken at the Oxford Union. He has served on the board of the Performing Artists Media Rights Association (PAMRA); as Warden of the Performers and Composers section of the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM); on the Central Music Advisory Committee of the BBC; the Council of the British Academy of Songwriters , Composers and Authors (BASCA): on the Music Writer’s Section of the Musicians’ Union (MU), and is a Patron of the Young Persons Concert Foundation. He is a member of the Royal Society of Musicians of Great Britain and is Hon. Vice-President of the Clan Sutherland Society, and a Companion of the Television and Radio Industries Club in recognition of his services to broadcasting.
IAIN SUTHERLAND was born in Glasgow, Scotland on 18 May 1936, and is a graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (formerly the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama). His principal instrument was the violin which he studied under Prof. Horace Fellowes in Glasgow and under Prof. Sacha Lasserson in London, leading to a highly successful career as an orchestral and studio session violinist, playing with the great London symphony orchestras under the greatest conductors of the era such as Klemperer, Boult, Sargent, Solti and Groves, and in the film, recording and TV studios, before his own appointment as Conductor of the BBC Scottish Radio Orchestra.
This report first appeared in ‘Journal Into Melody’, issue 195 dated April 2013.