Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson
Laurie Johnson

Born in London in 1927, Laurie Johnson received his musical education and training at the Royal College of Music. At the age of 18 he had a number of orchestral works published, which also had been broadcast on the radio. At the same time he was composing and arranging for the Ted Heath Band. Later he went on to work on compositions and arrangements for most of the major bands of the fifties. These included Jack Parnell, Ambrose, Geraldo and Mantovani. At the age of 21 Johnson was recording for EMI with his own orchestra. In the mid-fifties he began to compose music for films, and in 1955 he did his first film score, THE GOOD COMPANIONS. During the past 40 years Laurie Johnson has written for over 400 films and television productions. They include films such as FIRST MEN IN THE MOON, DR. STRANGELOVE, CAPTAIN KRONOS VAMPIRE HUNTER, THE BELSTONE FOX and TIGER BAY. For the small screen the composer has written the scores and themes for such popular series as THE AVENGERS and THE PROFESSIONALS, Continue reading Laurie Johnson

A HOOSIER IN HOLLYWOOD. GEORGE DUNING.

 

George Duning
George Duning

George Duning was born in Richmond, Indiana, in 1908. He began his musical career in 1921, when he was thirteen years old. His mother who taught organ and piano wanted the young Duning to study piano seriously, but he opted for the trumpet and had lessons from Herman Wogelmuth, who was first trumpet with the Cincinnati Symphony at that time.

By the time he was seventeen years old, George Duning was performing with dance bands and orchestras in Cincinnati. In his late teens he studied at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music in Ohio, he majored in theory at the Conservatory and studied composition under Mario Castelnuevo-Tedesco. In 1931 he joined the Kay Kyser orchestra as a trumpet player and arranger. It was not until 1934 that George Duning decided that he wanted to write music for movies. The composer recalls what led him to make his decision: “While in New York in 1934, I saw a Warner Brothers movie called THE INFORMER, Continue reading A HOOSIER IN HOLLYWOOD. GEORGE DUNING.

Nico Fidenco

Nico Fidenco
Nico Fidenco

Nico Fidenco, artistic name of Domenico Colarossi, (Rome, January 24, 1933), is an Italian singer who gained considerable popularity from 1960 onwards, after the release of the film WHAT A SKY, (Italian: Su nel cielo, taken from the film of Francesco Maselli I delfini). Self-taught in music, Fidenco did a few cover versions of film title songs for the Italian market. This interest in cinema lead him to become a prolific composer for films.

Q: I understand you received no formal musical education and for the most part are self taught?
I simply learnt about music by listening to it. Also I was helped by being close to, and with, musicians and singers. I listened, watched and took note. By doing this I was able to pick things up.

Q: You started out as a singer. Why did you changed direction in your musical career?
When I was singing I did a few cover versions of movie songs: EXODUS, Continue reading Nico Fidenco

Federico Jusid

Federico Jusid
Federico Jusid

Federico Jusid (born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1973) holds a “Master of Music” degree from The Manhattan School of Music, New York; a “New England CSS”, Boston; and “Diplôme de Exécution Musicale” with an “Antorchas” scholarship held at Brussels, apart from his “Bachelor Degree” from the Buenos Aires Conservatory. Jusid started his musical studies with 7 years old. Since then he developed a career as a piano performer (awarded in many international music competitions and festivals) and as composer. He composed the original soundtrack for more than 25 feature films, TV series, and music for the concert hall, premiered throughout Europe and America by recognized soloist and chamber ensembles. Nowadays, Jusid is a resident performer and composer of the Sonor Ensemble, Associate teacher at the Complutense University of Madrid and is the director of the music company Filmscores Productions in Madrid, Spain. He has also performed in Paris, Rome, St. Petersburg, Beijing, Seoul, Shangai, Sicily, Stockholm, Sofia, Helsinki, Continue reading Federico Jusid

Marc Wilkinson

Blood on Satan's Claw
Blood on Satan’s Claw

Born in Paris, Wilkinson studied composition at Columbia and Princeton Universities; he also took some private lessons with Varèse in New York. For a time he was resident composer and musical director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, then musical director of the Royal National Theatre (1963–74). One of the first scores he composed in that post was for Peter Shaffer’s The Royal Hunt of the Sun; the result deeply impressed the playwright, who has described Wilkinson’s work as “perhaps the best score for a play to be written since Grieg embellished Peer Gynt“. Wilkinson subsequently wrote the incidental music to Shaffer’s play Equus (1973).

Other National Theatre productions for which Wilkinson wrote incidental music included Tom Stoppard‘s plays Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1967) and Jumpers (its premiere production, 1972).

Through his work at the National Theatre Wilkinson met Piers Haggard, who was working as an assistant director: the two worked together on the National Theatre production The Dutch Courtesan (1964). Having directed several TV dramas, Haggard was about to direct his first feature film and invited Wilkinson to score. The result is one of Wilkinson’s most celebrated film scores, Blood on Satan’s Claw (1971),acclaimed by Jonathan Rigby in English Gothic as “easily among the best ever composed for a British horror film”. Wilkinson subsequently gave crucial advice to Paul Giovanni who had been commissioned to score the film The Wicker Man.

Wilkinson and Haggard subsequently worked together on further TV and film productions, including Quatermass and The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu.

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Q: Where and when were you born and what musical education did you receive?

I was born in Paris, July 1929… Australian nationality… MA degree Columbia University, NY, USA and MFA degree Princeton University, New Jersey, USA. I also studied independently with Edgard Varese in NY. Continue reading Marc Wilkinson