Gordon Langford

Gordon Langford

Born Edgware, North London, 1930

Early interest in playing and writing music. Piano lessons from age five. First composition performed in public at age nine. First concerto played at public concert (Mozart K488) at age eleven. Won Middlesex Scholarship to Royal Academy of Music. Also studied trombone. Army service with Royal Artillery Band, Woolwich. First BBC broadcast as solo pianist (with the RA Band) in 1951. Several years of varied jobs such as pianist with seaside orchestras, pianist at school of ballet, trombone player with touring opera company, restaurant pianist, vibraphone player with jazz group and ship's musician.

During the sixties, began to be featured as pianist/arranger/composer on countless BBC programmes such as 'Music in the Air', 'Melody Around the World', 'Lines From My Grandfather's Forehead' (Ronnie Barker), 'Thanks For The Memory' (Hubert Gregg), 'Friday Night is Music Night', 'The Radio Orchestra Show', 'At the Piano', etc. plus appearances at the Royal Festival Hall at the Light Music Festivals.

Ivor Novello Award in 1971. Twice winner of the European Broadcasting Union's competition for new music for brass. Has written many arrangements for the King's Singers, 'London Miniatures' for the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble, and much other original music for brass band, orchestra, and various chamber groups. Worked as orchestrator for several West End musical shows, plus orchestrations for many American movies such as 'Raiders of the Lost Ark', 'Superman II', 'First Great Train Robbery', 'Clash of the Titans', 'Return to Oz', 'Tribute' etc. Apart from brass and military bands, many LPs and CDs feature his orchestral arrangements, notably with Vernon and Maryetta Midgley, Evelyn Glennie and Michala Petri. Also featured on record as pianist with Marilyn Hill Smith and the late Max Jaffa.

Commissioned by the BBC to write a 'Grand Fantasia on La Boheme' for the centenary of the Henry Wood Promenade Concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in 1994. Also in 1994 was awarded the Gold Badge of Merit by British Academy of Song-writers, Composers and Authors.

He was honoured in 2011 by being awarded Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Music. Fellowship is limited to 300 former Academy students, and awarded to those musicians who have distinguished themselves within the profession.

Gordon Langford died on 18th April 2017 at the age of 86.

Bobby, Barbara and Roger - Three folk-song arrangements for wind trio (flute, oboe and clarinet)
Divertimento for Saxophone Quartet - A superb addition to the saxophone quartet repertoire.
A Secret Serenade - for Violin, Piano and optional 'Cello.
Suite for Piano Duet - an arrangement of Divertimento for Saxophone Quartet.
A Final Love Song - solo song for bass and piano.
Sweet Blossom - song for solo soprano or tenor.
Sweet Blossom - song for SATB chorus or solo quartet
A French Folk Song Suite - for String Quartet or String Orchestra
The Christmas Gift - Carol for SATB and Organ
Born for Us - Carol for Unison, with optional SATB, and Organ
Four Scottish Impressions - for B flat Clarinet and Piano
Chansonette for Clarinet & Piano
Abendlied - Piano Solo
Sonatina for Violin and Pianoforte
Reflections for Flute, Cor Anglais and String Orchestra
Wind Quintet for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon and Horn
Wind Trio, 'Three Ladies' - for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet and optional Piano
Variations on an Irish Folk-Song - for Clarinet and String Quartet and optional Piano
Sheba Quartet - for Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon and Piano
Cantilena - An arrangement for Oboe and Piano of the second movement of Petite Suite for Oboe and String Quartet
From Cornwall to Quebec - Six Songs for SATB and Piano: Song of the Western Men, Down in Demerara, Barbara Allen, My Darling Clementine, Scraping up Sand, and Donkey Riding
There was a Jolly Taxman ...Who whistled o'er the lea A happy laughing Taxman Who had it in for me (etc.) - Octet for B flat Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn in F, 2 Violins, Viola, Violoncello, Double Bass