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Novello & Co
Photo © Yorkshire Post Newspapers
Patric Standford was born in 1939 in Yorkshire, England. He studied at the Guildhall School of Music in London with Edmund Rubbra and Raymond Jones, played the violin and viola in the orchestras and chamber music classes, and learned the craft of conducting with Lawrence Leonard and Norman de Mar. He won the 1964 Mendelssohn Scholarship which enabled him to extend his studies in Italy with Gianfrancesco Malipiero and in Poland with Witold Lutoslawski. After gaining a Masters degree at London University, he becamse involved in the world of commercial music, writing and arranging for films, televsion and West End shows through which he acquired practical experience and skills he has always valued. During this time he made several recordings as a conductor of light music, including an album for the jazz group Continuum which he cmposed and directed. During the 1970s he established himself as a concert composer with his 'Symphony No 1 (The Seasons)', which was awarded the Premio Citta de Trieste, a Cello Concerto (a homage to Brahms), and significantly the oratorio 'Christus Requiem' which drew wide critical acclaim, including the 'Yugoslavian Government Arts Award' after a performnce in Skopje. His 'Symphony No 3 (Toward Paradise) was awarded the 1985 City of Geneva Ernst Ansermet Prize, and in 1997 he received the First International Composers' Award of Budapest for his choral masque 'The Prayer of Saint Francis'. In 1999 he was awarded the first prize of the Belgian International ClarinetFest for his Clarinet Quintet. Symphony No 5 was commissioned for the BBC Philharmonic in 1986. His choral works attracted many European performances, and he became a frequent visitor to France (Tours), Hungary (Budapest and Debrecen) and Estonia (Tallinn) as a jury member for International Choral Festivals. He was professor of composition at the Guildhall School fo Music until 1980, when he was appointed Head of the Music School at Bretton Hall, a college of Leeds University. He has also played a major role with many British organisations. He was chairman of the Composers' Guild of Great Britain (1977-1980) and chairman of the British Music Information Centre (1980-1993). He is a Council member of the Musicians' Benevolent Fund, a board member of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, and Chairman of the Hinrichsen Foundation. He is currently completing a sixth symphony, an opera about the 15th century poet François Villon, and a book about the private lives of the great composers. His reputation as an entertaining lecturer and occasional radio broadcaster remains strong, and he still visits universities in Europe and USA as a conductor, and to direct composition seminars and workshops. Recent CDs of his music include the Ballet Suite 'Celestial Fire' on ASV (Light Music Discoveries 3) and 'A Christmas Carol Symphony' out in October 2002 on Naxos.