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This time we begin with two present day composers: Adrian Jack, worth a mention for his Menagerie for piano, violin and cello, premiered by the Lake Trio in 2001; and Brian Fraser, Director of Music at Buckingham High School, Fife, in Scotland, whose prolific compositions include many for wind band, of which examples are Carnival of the Insects and

Henry Charles Litolff (1818-91), pianist, publisher and composer, is often reckoned as French, but he was born, of a Scots mother and an Alsatian father, in London. He is known for one work, the scherzo from his 4th Concerto Symphonique for piano and orchestra; there are five of these concertos altogether and their scherzi all have such delicacy and tunefulness so we can count them as light music. His Robespierre overture includes a rousing setting of the Marseillaise; other overtures included Les Girendins, Chant des Belges and King Lear. His copious piano output included many lightish pieces, dance music especially, and, most famously Spinnelied.

Ed Welch is known for his music for the 1978 film remake (its third version in the "talkie" era) of The Thirty Nine Steps with Robert Powell as Hannay; Welch's other titles include a piece for wind band, Dartmouth Mariner.

Finally, three figures noted for their recent incidental music for radio plays are Will Gregory, Derek Nesbit and Billie Cowie the latter for BBC Radio 3's 2001 production of Shakespeare's The Tempest.

Philip L Scowcroft

October 2001

Enquiries to Philip at

8 Rowan Mount



Philip's book 'British Light Music Composers' (ISBN 0903413 88 4) is currently out of print.

E-mail enquiries (but NOT orders) can be directed to Rob Barnett at

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