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01 Apr

Composer and arranger Roy Douglas dies

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The composer and arranger Roy Douglas died on March 23rd 2015, at the great age of 107. Almost totally self-taught, he worked extensively with Ralph Vaughan Williams and William Walton. He is probably best known for his collaboration with Richard Addinsell, especially on the Warsaw Concerto, (written for the WWII film "Dangerous Moonlight"), in the composition of which he almost certainly played the greater part. He only received £100 for his efforts - whilst Addinsell reputedly made millions - and he never even received 'proper' recognition for his indispensable contribution to that work.

His reputation, and fortunately his finances, fared much better as a result of his re-orchestration, in  1936, of Frederic Chopin's music for the ballet "Les Sylphides". For this opus he was fully credited and he continued to  receive a substantial royalty income for the rest of his life.  

Tony Clayden

March 2015

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