Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
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1936-03-29
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/2ca98ac1-62f0-4cdc-89ad-9d4b7602440a
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett

Biography (BBC)

Richard Rodney Bennett was born into a musical family in Broadstairs, Kent, in 1936, and began composing as a child. Informal sessions with the pioneering British serialist Elisabeth Lutyens aroused in him an interest in the avant-garde which was left unsatisfied by the traditional teaching of Lennox Berkeley and Howard Ferguson at the Royal Academy of Music, but assuaged by visits to the Darmstadt summer schools, and a two-year period of study in Paris with Pierre Boulez.

In the music he wrote after returning to Britain, Bennett drew back from the complexity associated with European modernism, instead adopting what Stephen Walsh has called 'a neo-Romantic serialism' - finding an expressive voice not always associated with the formal limits of '12-tone' composition. This proved well suited to operatic composition, and Bennett had considerable success in the 1960s with two operas for the Sadler's Wells company (later English National Opera), The Mines of Sulphur and A Penny for a Song Ð though after Victory, presented by the Royal Opera in 1970, he abandoned the medium.

He also composed numerous works in a wide range of other genres, including a full-length ballet, Isadora, two major choral and orchestral works, Epithalamion and Spells, three symphonies, concertos and concertante pieces for many different instruments, chamber works, song-cycles and instrumental solos.

Meanwhile he was pursuing several parallel careers with equal flair: as a prolific composer of scores for feature films, three of which have been nominated for Academy Awards; as a concert pianist, notably in duos with the pianist Susan Bradshaw, the soprano Jane Manning and the horn player Barry Tuckwell; and as a jazz performer, at first partnering singers, later also as a solo cabaret artist. He has also composed concert works in a true jazz idiom - most famously the 1964 Jazz Calendar, later adopted as a ballet score.

Bennett used to consider the different strands of his compositional activity - concert music, film music, jazz and (yet another area of expertise) simple music for young performers - as entirely separate from one another. But the direct contact with audiences which his cabaret performances brought him encouraged him to reach out to the general music-lover. And since the late 1980s he has been writing concert works in a freely tonal idiom, often with an element of 'crossover', which has proved to be of broad popular appeal.

Richard Rodney Bennett has lived in New York City since 1979, but remains a British citizen. He was appointed CBE in 1977, and knighted in 1998.

Profile © Anthony Burton




Tracks

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Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
Tender is the Night: Nicole's Theme
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Tender is the Night: Nicole's Theme
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
Everybody Today Is Turning On
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Everybody Today Is Turning On
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
Murder On The Orient Express
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Murder On The Orient Express
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
World Weary
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World Weary
George Gershwin
Liza (Show Girl)
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Liza (Show Girl)
George Gershwin
I got rhythm (Girl Crazy)
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I got rhythm (Girl Crazy)
George Gershwin
Promenade 'Walking the Dog' reconstr Borne
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Promenade 'Walking the Dog' reconstr Borne
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
Arabesque
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Arabesque
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
Noctuary - Variations on a theme of Scott Joplin
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Noctuary - Variations on a theme of Scott Joplin
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
Songs before Sleep - for bass-baritone and piano
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Songs before Sleep - for bass-baritone and piano
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
Lady Caroline Lamb: Elegy for Viola and Orchestra
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Lady Caroline Lamb: Elegy for Viola and Orchestra
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
Songs before Sleep
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Songs before Sleep
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
Partita for orchestra - Finale
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Partita for orchestra - Finale
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
Goodbye For Now
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Goodbye For Now
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
I'm In The Mood for Love (feat. Mary Cleere Haran)
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I'm In The Mood for Love (feat. Mary Cleere Haran)
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
Miss Otis Regrets
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Miss Otis Regrets
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
I Never Went Away
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I Never Went Away
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
Not Exactly Paris
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Not Exactly Paris
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
Little Jazz Bird
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Little Jazz Bird
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
Witchcraft (feat. Claire Martin)
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Witchcraft (feat. Claire Martin)
George Gershwin
Three-quarter Blues
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Three-quarter Blues
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
Anya
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Anya
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
Never weather-beaten sail (BBC Symphony Chorus at Spitalfields Summer Festival)
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Never weather-beaten sail (BBC Symphony Chorus at Spitalfields Summer Festival)
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
The Mulberry Garden and Nobody's Jig from Four Country Dances
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The Mulberry Garden and Nobody's Jig from Four Country Dances
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
Five Impromptus
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Five Impromptus
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
Murder on the Orient Express Overture and Waltz
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Murder on the Orient Express Overture and Waltz
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
Overture and Waltz from Murder on the Orient Express
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Overture and Waltz from Murder on the Orient Express
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
The isle is full of noyses (Sea Change)
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The isle is full of noyses (Sea Change)
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
Cello Sonata
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Cello Sonata
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Playlists featuring Sir Richard Rodney Bennett


Past BBC Events

Proms 1989: Prom 10
http://www.bbc.co.uk/events/e83gwh
Royal Albert Hall
1989-07-29T02:34:26
29
Jul
1989

Proms 1989: Prom 10

19:30
Royal Albert Hall
Proms 1976: Prom 42
http://www.bbc.co.uk/events/ebcd4f
Royal Albert Hall
1976-08-28T02:34:26
28
Aug
1976

Proms 1976: Prom 42

19:30
Royal Albert Hall
Proms 1975: Prom 47
http://www.bbc.co.uk/events/evv2mb
Royal Albert Hall
1975-09-10T02:34:26
10
Sep
1975

Proms 1975: Prom 47

19:30
Royal Albert Hall
Proms 1968: Prom 47
http://www.bbc.co.uk/events/ehv4fx
Royal Albert Hall
1968-09-09T02:34:26
9
Sep
1968

Proms 1968: Prom 47

19:30
Royal Albert Hall

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