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

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


Richard Rodney Bennett Performances & Interviews


Richard Rodney Bennett Tracks

Richard Rodney Bennett
Lady Caroline Lamb - Elegy for viola and orchestra (1972 Digital Remaster): II.
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Lady Caroline Lamb - Elegy for viola and orchestra (1972 Digital Remaster): II.

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Richard Rodney Bennett
Murder on the Orient Express - music from the film (arr. Lindup)
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Murder on the Orient Express - music from the film (arr. Lindup)
George Gershwin
Strike up the band! (The George Gershwin Songbook for piano)
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Strike up the band! (The George Gershwin Songbook for piano)
Harold Arlen
It's A New World
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It's A New World
Richard Rodney Bennett
The Seasons of his Mercies
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The Seasons of his Mercies
Jerome Kern
The folks who live on the hill (High, wide and handsome)
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The folks who live on the hill (High, wide and handsome)
George Gershwin
Love Is Here To Stay
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Love Is Here To Stay
George Gershwin
Stairway to Paradise (George White's Scandals)
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Stairway to Paradise (George White's Scandals)
Richard Rodney Bennett
Murder on the Orient Express (Waltz)
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Murder on the Orient Express (Waltz)
Richard Rodney Bennett
A History of The Dansant
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A History of The Dansant
Richard Rodney Bennett
Zodiac
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Zodiac
Richard Rodney Bennett
Partita
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Partita
Richard Rodney Bennett
Jazz Calendar (Wednesday's Child)
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Jazz Calendar (Wednesday's Child)
Richard Rodney Bennett
Reflections on a 16th Century Tune
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Reflections on a 16th Century Tune
Richard Rodney Bennett
Symphony No 1
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Symphony No 1
Richard Rodney Bennett
Sinfonietta
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Sinfonietta
Richard Rodney Bennett
Up With The Lark
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Up With The Lark
Richard Rodney Bennett
Murder on the Orient Express - Overture
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Murder on the Orient Express - Overture
Richard Rodney Bennett
Sherlock Holmes in New York (1975) - Holmes
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Sherlock Holmes in New York (1975) - Holmes
Richard Rodney Bennett
Puer Nobis
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Puer Nobis
Richard Rodney Bennett
Celebration for Orchestra
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Celebration for Orchestra
George Gershwin
Liza (Show Girl)
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Liza (Show Girl)
Richard Rodney Bennett
Sea Change
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Sea Change
George Gershwin
Little jazz bird arr Bennett
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Little jazz bird arr Bennett
Richard Rodney Bennett
Yanks (1979) - Main Title
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Yanks (1979) - Main Title
George Gershwin
Porgy and Bess (Act 3, Sc 3: Oh, Bess, oh where's my Bess?)
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Porgy and Bess (Act 3, Sc 3: Oh, Bess, oh where's my Bess?)
Richard Rodney Bennett
Lady Caroline Lamb - Elegy for viola and orchestra (1972 Digital Remaster): II.
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Lady Caroline Lamb - Elegy for viola and orchestra (1972 Digital Remaster): II.
Richard Rodgers
Wait til you see her (By Jupiter)
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Wait til you see her (By Jupiter)
Richard Rodney Bennett
The Bird's Lament; The Lark (The Aviary)
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The Bird's Lament; The Lark (The Aviary)

The Bird's Lament; The Lark (The Aviary)

Performer
St Catherine'S Girls' Choir, Cambridge
Richard Rodney Bennett
Partita for orchestra
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Partita for orchestra
Richard Rodney Bennett
Serenade for orchestra
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Serenade for orchestra
Richard Rodney Bennett
Symphony no. 2
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Symphony no. 2
Richard Rodney Bennett
Concerto for Stan Getz for Tenor Saxophone and Orchestra
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Concerto for Stan Getz for Tenor Saxophone and Orchestra
Richard Rodney Bennett
Concerto for Stan Getz for Tenor Saxophone and Orchestra
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Concerto for Stan Getz for Tenor Saxophone and Orchestra
George Gershwin
The man I love (The George Gershwin Songbook for piano)
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The man I love (The George Gershwin Songbook for piano)
Richard Rodney Bennett
Elegy for Miles Davis (Movement 2, Concerto for trumpet and wind orchestra)
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Elegy for Miles Davis (Movement 2, Concerto for trumpet and wind orchestra)

Elegy for Miles Davis (Movement 2, Concerto for trumpet and wind orchestra)

Performer
Ensemble
University of Western Ontario Ensemble
Conductor
Colleen Richardson
Richard Rodney Bennett
Four Piece Suite: i. Samba Triste
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Four Piece Suite: i. Samba Triste
Jerome Kern
Up with the lark
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Up with the lark
Richard Rodney Bennett
Puer Nobis
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Puer Nobis
Richard Rodney Bennett
Partita: i) Intrada. Allegro giocoso
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Partita: i) Intrada. Allegro giocoso
Richard Rodney Bennett
Far from the Madding Crowd
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Far from the Madding Crowd
Richard Rodney Bennett
Partita (1st mvt)
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Partita (1st mvt)
Richard Rodney Bennett
Nicole's Theme from Tender is the night
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Nicole's Theme from Tender is the night
Richard Rodney Bennett
Murder on the Orient Express: The Orient Express
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Murder on the Orient Express: The Orient Express
Richard Rodney Bennett
Songs before sleep
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Songs before sleep
Richard Rodney Bennett
Partita: 3rd mvt Finale
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Partita: 3rd mvt Finale
Richard Rodney Bennett
One Equal Music
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One Equal Music

One Equal Music

Choir
Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir
Conductor
Richard Rodney Bennett
Concerto For Stan Getz: ii. Elegy
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Concerto For Stan Getz: ii. Elegy

Concerto For Stan Getz: ii. Elegy

Performer
Orchestra
BBC Scottish S O
Conductor
John Wilson
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Past BBC Events

Proms 1989: Prom 10
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/e83gwh
Royal Albert Hall
1989-07-29T07:55:18
29
Jul
1989

Proms 1989: Prom 10

Royal Albert Hall
Proms 1976: Prom 42
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/ebcd4f
Royal Albert Hall
1976-08-28T07:55:18
28
Aug
1976

Proms 1976: Prom 42

Royal Albert Hall
Proms 1975: Prom 47
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/evv2mb
Royal Albert Hall
1975-09-10T07:55:18
10
Sep
1975

Proms 1975: Prom 47

Royal Albert Hall
Proms 1968: Prom 47
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/ehv4fx
Royal Albert Hall
1968-09-09T07:55:18
9
Sep
1968

Proms 1968: Prom 47

Royal Albert Hall

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