Few composers nowadays manage to avoid being ‘pigeon-holed’; Sir Richard Rodney Bennett (b. 1936) , however, is a rare and fine exception. As well as writing for the opera theatre and the concert hall, he also composes film music, and, a versatile pianist, plays jazz and performs songs from the shows in cabaret. Above all else, he is a composer with an overwhelming desire to communicate.
Bennett was born in 1936 at Broadstairs in Kent. Coming from a musical family – his mother studied with Holst – he started composing when he was young and won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music in 1953, where he studied with Lennox Berkeley and Howard Ferguson. Earlier informal [...]