A 253rd GARLAND OF BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC COMPOSERS
John Howlett, born in 1906, was not a big producer
as a composer, but he is worthy of notice for his piano piece At
Sunset (1960), which achieved some popularity in an orchestration
by Frederick Bayco; Howlett also published, in 1958, Four
Short Pieces for organ.
Richard Drakeford, who was active especially
in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, is known most for his music for the Anglican
service but on the lighter side he published A Handful of Pleasant
Delight (1958), Six Transatlantic Studies (1967) and Hors
d’Oeuvres (1972), all for piano solo, plus Tower Music for
brass and the Three Nonsense Songs for baritone solo or unison
To complete this Garland we have a few modern film/TV
composers, at least two of which have pursued careers in America. David
Arnold (1962-) , born in Luton, has produced many film scores for
Hollywood, often in a pop-based idiom though more "traditional"
are those for Independence Day and Stargate. The Aberystwyth
born Michael J Lewis (1939-) was educated at the Guildhall School.
His film scores, mostly (though, not entirely) for Hollywood include
Julius Caesar (1970), The Hound of the Baskervilles (1983),
The Medusa Touch (1978), North Sea Hyjack (1979), Sphinx
(1980) and Upon This Rock (1970). Away from the screen, his musical
Cyrano was produced on Broadway in 1973. I assume he was not
the same M Lewis who is credited with the signature tune of Midday
Mark Ayres who was born in London in 1960 and
bought up in Kent, is primarily a film music composer in the electronic
idiom, but The Innocent Sleep is a more traditional orchestral
score. Roy Budd (1947-93) was a jazz pianist and unsurprisingly
his film scores, of which we may instance Zeppelin, Soldier Blue
and Kidnapped are in a jazz-symphonic idiom. Budd’s last task
before his untimely death was to create music for the "silent"
version of The Phantom of the Opera in 1993.
Philip L Scowcroft
Philip's book 'British Light Music Composers' (ISBN 0903413 88 4) is
currently out of print.