The English composer and pianist Sir Richard Rodney Bennett had died at the age of 76. Born in Broadstairs (Kent), he developed from a very talented and musically inquisitive child to become one of the most versatile and stylistically eclectic of musicians. His teachers included Pierre Boulez, Elisabeth Lutyens and Lennox Berkeley. Richard Rodney Bennett composed numerous film scores (Murder On the Orient Express, Far from the Madding Crowd, Four Weddings and a Funeral, et al), symphonies, operas (such as The Mines of Sulphur), concertos (for piano, for violin, and for the saxophone of Stan Getz) and vocal music. He was also a wide-ranging pianist, embracing the English repertoire (recording Arthur Bliss, Constant Lambert and others) and The Great American Songbook, often in cabaret-style recitals with the jazz-singer Claire Martin. In later life, painting became a particular interest. Richard Rodney Bennett was born on 29 March 1936 and he died in New York on 24 December 2012.

 

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