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

Biography

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 ...

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Biography

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 (44)

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Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, John Lanchbery & London Jazz Ensemble
Jazz Calendar (Saturday’s Child)
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Jazz Calendar (Saturday’s Child) Jazz Calendar (Saturday’s Child) Jazz Calendar (Saturday’s Child) Jazz Calendar (Saturday’s Child)
Timothy Noon, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, The Choir of Canterbury Cathedral & David Flood
Puer nobis for chorus [1983]
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Puer nobis for chorus [1983] Puer nobis for chorus [1983] Puer nobis for chorus [1983] Puer nobis for chorus [1983]
Pavel Sokolov, Kimiko Imani & Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
After Syrinx 1
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After Syrinx 1 After Syrinx 1 After Syrinx 1 After Syrinx 1
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, Paul Brough & BBC Singers
The Apple Tree for chorus
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The Apple Tree for chorus The Apple Tree for chorus The Apple Tree for chorus The Apple Tree for chorus
George Gershwin, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett & Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
Little jazz bird arr. Richard Rodney Bennett for piano
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Little jazz bird arr. Richard Rodney Bennett for piano Little jazz bird arr. Richard Rodney Bennett for piano Little jazz bird arr. Richard Rodney Bennett for piano Little jazz bird arr. Richard Rodney Bennett for piano
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, Paul Bateman & City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
Murder on the Orient Express - Waltz
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Murder on the Orient Express - Waltz Murder on the Orient Express - Waltz Murder on the Orient Express - Waltz Murder on the Orient Express - Waltz
George Gershwin & Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
The George Gershwin song-book for piano, That certain feeling [from 'Tip-toes']
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The George Gershwin song-book for piano, That certain feeling [from 'Tip-toes'] The George Gershwin song-book for piano, That certain feeling [from 'Tip-toes'] The George Gershwin song-book for piano, That certain feeling [from 'Tip-toes'] The George Gershwin song-book for piano, That certain feeling [from 'Tip-toes']
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett & Studio Orchestra conducted by the composer
FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD (1967): Main Theme
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FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD (1967): Main Theme FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD (1967): Main Theme FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD (1967): Main Theme FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD (1967): Main Theme

FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD (1967): Main Theme

Orchestra
Studio Orchestra conducted by the composer
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, Marcus Dods & Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (1974): Finale
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MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (1974): Finale MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (1974): Finale MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (1974): Finale MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (1974): Finale
Cole Porter, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, BBC Singers & David Hill
Every Time We Say Goodbye
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Every Time We Say Goodbye Every Time We Say Goodbye Every Time We Say Goodbye Every Time We Say Goodbye
Paul Brough, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett & BBC Singers
New Year carol
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New Year carol New Year carol New Year carol New Year carol
BBC Singers, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett & David Hill
A good-night
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A good-night A good-night A good-night A good-night
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, Jonathan Lamalu & Audrey Hyaland
As I walked by myself v.) from Songs before Sleep
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As I walked by myself v.) from Songs before Sleep As I walked by myself v.) from Songs before Sleep As I walked by myself v.) from Songs before Sleep As I walked by myself v.) from Songs before Sleep

As I walked by myself v.) from Songs before Sleep

Performer
Jonathan Lamalu
Audrey Hyaland
Last played on
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, Acoustic Triangle & Royal Holloway Choir
Colloquy with God
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Colloquy with God Colloquy with God Colloquy with God Colloquy with God
Paul Brough, BBC Singers & Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
Never Weather-Beaten Saile
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Never Weather-Beaten Saile Never Weather-Beaten Saile Never Weather-Beaten Saile Never Weather-Beaten Saile
George Gershwin & Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
The George Gershwin song-book for piano, I'll build a stairway to Paradise
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The George Gershwin song-book for piano, I'll build a stairway to Paradise The George Gershwin song-book for piano, I'll build a stairway to Paradise The George Gershwin song-book for piano, I'll build a stairway to Paradise The George Gershwin song-book for piano, I'll build a stairway to Paradise
George Gershwin & Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
Rialto ripples - piano rag
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Rialto ripples - piano rag Rialto ripples - piano rag Rialto ripples - piano rag Rialto ripples - piano rag
Clive Anstee, Tristan Fry, Erich Gruenberg, Charles Taylor, Kenneth Essex, Allen Walley, Jerome Kern, Neville Taweel, John Wilson, Christopher Taylor, Barry Tuckwell, Stephen Shingles, Vivian Joseph, Derek Wickens, Neil Richardson, Chris Karan, Skaila Kanga, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett & Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
Very warm for May - musical play, All the things you are arr. Bennett
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Very warm for May - musical play, All the things you are arr. Bennett Very warm for May - musical play, All the things you are arr. Bennett Very warm for May - musical play, All the things you are arr. Bennett Very warm for May - musical play, All the things you are arr. Bennett

Very warm for May - musical play, All the things you are arr. Bennett

Performer
Clive Anstee
Tristan Fry
Erich Gruenberg
Charles Taylor
Kenneth Essex
Neville Taweel
John Wilson
Christopher Taylor
Barry Tuckwell
Stephen Shingles
Vivian Joseph
Derek Wickens
Chris Karan
Skaila Kanga
Composer
Last played on
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
Railway Rhythm
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Railway Rhythm Railway Rhythm Railway Rhythm Railway Rhythm
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
Marigold Op. 78
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Marigold Op. 78 Marigold Op. 78 Marigold Op. 78 Marigold Op. 78
Marcus Dods, Studio Orchestra & Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
BILLION DOLLAR BRAIN (1958): Car Chase
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BILLION DOLLAR BRAIN (1958): Car Chase BILLION DOLLAR BRAIN (1958): Car Chase BILLION DOLLAR BRAIN (1958): Car Chase BILLION DOLLAR BRAIN (1958): Car Chase
Paul McCreesh, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett & Gabrieli Consort & Players
A Good-night for chorus
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A Good-night for chorus A Good-night for chorus A Good-night for chorus A Good-night for chorus
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
Murder On The Orient Express
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Murder On The Orient Express Murder On The Orient Express Murder On The Orient Express Murder On The Orient Express
NYCoS National Girls Choir, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, Philip Moore, Andrew West & Christopher Bell
The Owl & The Lark from The Aviary
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The Owl & The Lark from The Aviary The Owl & The Lark from The Aviary The Owl & The Lark from The Aviary The Owl & The Lark from The Aviary

The Owl & The Lark from The Aviary

Performer
NYCoS National Girls Choir, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, Philip Moore, Andrew West & Christopher Bell
Last played on
Alexander Wells, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, Ronald Corp & New London Children's Choir
The Insect world for unison voices (or solo voice) and piano
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The Insect world for unison voices (or solo voice) and piano The Insect world for unison voices (or solo voice) and piano The Insect world for unison voices (or solo voice) and piano The Insect world for unison voices (or solo voice) and piano

The Insect world for unison voices (or solo voice) and piano

Performer
Alexander Wells, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, Ronald Corp & New London Children's Choir
Last played on
George Gershwin, George Shearing, Neil Swainson & The King’s Singers
Tip-toes - musical comedy (feat. Neil Swainson, The King’s Singers & George Shearing)
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Tip-toes - musical comedy (feat. Neil Swainson, The King’s Singers & George Shearing) Tip-toes - musical comedy (feat. Neil Swainson, The King’s Singers & George Shearing) Tip-toes - musical comedy (feat. Neil Swainson, The King’s Singers & George Shearing) Tip-toes - musical comedy (feat. Neil Swainson, The King’s Singers & George Shearing)
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, Richard Hickox & Philharmonia Orchestra
Partita for orchestra (feat. Philharmonia Orchestra & Richard Hickox)
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Partita for orchestra (feat. Philharmonia Orchestra & Richard Hickox) Partita for orchestra (feat. Philharmonia Orchestra & Richard Hickox) Partita for orchestra (feat. Philharmonia Orchestra & Richard Hickox) Partita for orchestra (feat. Philharmonia Orchestra & Richard Hickox)
George Gershwin & Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
I got rhythm [from 'Girl crazy']
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I got rhythm [from 'Girl crazy'] I got rhythm [from 'Girl crazy'] I got rhythm [from 'Girl crazy'] I got rhythm [from 'Girl crazy']
peterborough cathedral choir & Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
In the bleak midwinter
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In the bleak midwinter In the bleak midwinter In the bleak midwinter In the bleak midwinter

In the bleak midwinter

Performer
peterborough cathedral choir & Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, BBC Concert Orchestra & Keith Lockhart
Elegy for Caroline Lamb for viola and orchestra (feat. Keith Lockhart & BBC Concert Orchestra)
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Elegy for Caroline Lamb for viola and orchestra (feat. Keith Lockhart & BBC Concert Orchestra) Elegy for Caroline Lamb for viola and orchestra (feat. Keith Lockhart & BBC Concert Orchestra) Elegy for Caroline Lamb for viola and orchestra (feat. Keith Lockhart & BBC Concert Orchestra) Elegy for Caroline Lamb for viola and orchestra (feat. Keith Lockhart & BBC Concert Orchestra)
Stephen Layton (conductor), Sir Richard Rodney Bennett & Polyphony
Out of your sleep
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Out of your sleep Out of your sleep Out of your sleep Out of your sleep

Out of your sleep

Performer
Stephen Layton (conductor), Sir Richard Rodney Bennett & Polyphony
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
Lilliburlero Variations
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Lilliburlero Variations Lilliburlero Variations Lilliburlero Variations Lilliburlero Variations
Soundtrack & Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
The Billion Dollar Brain - Ambush
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The Billion Dollar Brain - Ambush The Billion Dollar Brain - Ambush The Billion Dollar Brain - Ambush The Billion Dollar Brain - Ambush
Soundtrack & Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
The Billion Dollar Brain - Love Theme
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The Billion Dollar Brain - Love Theme The Billion Dollar Brain - Love Theme The Billion Dollar Brain - Love Theme The Billion Dollar Brain - Love Theme
Hollywood Bowl S O, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett & John Mauceri
Murder on the Orient Express - music from the film
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Murder on the Orient Express - music from the film Murder on the Orient Express - music from the film Murder on the Orient Express - music from the film Murder on the Orient Express - music from the film

Murder on the Orient Express - music from the film

Performer
Hollywood Bowl S O, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett & John Mauceri
Last played on
George Gershwin & Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
Promenade "Walking the dog" vers. for piano [reconstr. Hal Borne]
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Promenade "Walking the dog" vers. for piano [reconstr. Hal Borne] Promenade "Walking the dog" vers. for piano [reconstr. Hal Borne] Promenade "Walking the dog" vers. for piano [reconstr. Hal Borne] Promenade "Walking the dog" vers. for piano [reconstr. Hal Borne]
Far from the madding crowd
music for the film: Prelude
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music for the film: Prelude music for the film: Prelude music for the film: Prelude music for the film: Prelude
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
Elegy for Caroline Lamb for viola and orchestra [based on theme from the film "Lady Caroli
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Elegy for Caroline Lamb for viola and orchestra [based on theme from the film "Lady Caroli Elegy for Caroline Lamb for viola and orchestra [based on theme from the film "Lady Caroli Elegy for Caroline Lamb for viola and orchestra [based on theme from the film "Lady Caroli Elegy for Caroline Lamb for viola and orchestra [based on theme from the film "Lady Caroli

Elegy for Caroline Lamb for viola and orchestra [based on theme from the film "Lady Caroli

Last played on
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett & New York Polyphony
A Colloquy with God
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A Colloquy with God A Colloquy with God A Colloquy with God A Colloquy with God
Roderick Williams, Iain Burnside, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
Baby, Baby, Naughty Baby - Songs Before Sleep (feat. Iain Burnside)
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Baby, Baby, Naughty Baby - Songs Before Sleep (feat. Iain Burnside) Baby, Baby, Naughty Baby - Songs Before Sleep (feat. Iain Burnside) Baby, Baby, Naughty Baby - Songs Before Sleep (feat. Iain Burnside) Baby, Baby, Naughty Baby - Songs Before Sleep (feat. Iain Burnside)
Roderick Williams, Iain Burnside, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star - Songs Before Sleep (feat. Iain Burnside)
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Twinkle Twinkle Little Star  - Songs Before Sleep (feat. Iain Burnside) Twinkle Twinkle Little Star  - Songs Before Sleep (feat. Iain Burnside) Twinkle Twinkle Little Star  - Songs Before Sleep (feat. Iain Burnside) Twinkle Twinkle Little Star  - Songs Before Sleep (feat. Iain Burnside)
Roderick Williams, Iain Burnside, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
The Mouse And The Bumblebee - Songs Before Sleep (feat. Iain Burnside)
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The Mouse And The Bumblebee - Songs Before Sleep (feat. Iain Burnside) The Mouse And The Bumblebee - Songs Before Sleep (feat. Iain Burnside) The Mouse And The Bumblebee - Songs Before Sleep (feat. Iain Burnside) The Mouse And The Bumblebee - Songs Before Sleep (feat. Iain Burnside)
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
Sea Change, for chorus & tubular bells – Full Fathom Five
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Sea Change, for chorus & tubular bells – Full Fathom Five Sea Change, for chorus & tubular bells – Full Fathom Five Sea Change, for chorus & tubular bells – Full Fathom Five Sea Change, for chorus & tubular bells – Full Fathom Five
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
The Flowers of the forest - variations for brass band
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The Flowers of the forest - variations for brass band The Flowers of the forest - variations for brass band The Flowers of the forest - variations for brass band The Flowers of the forest - variations for brass band
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