Gary Carpenter (b.1951 in Hackney, London) studied composition under John Lambert at the Royal College of Music. He has lived in Holland and Germany and has written four operas, five musicals and a radio music drama – The One Alone – with Dame Iris Murdoch, as well as animated and live action film scores, several ballets (mainly for Nederlands Dans Theater) and a large amount of concert music including a Horn Concerto for Stephen Stirling and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, and Sonatinas (a concerto for alto saxophone and chamber orchestra) for Christian Forshaw and Ensemble 10/10.

He has been musical director and arranger/orchestrator on many films including The Wicker Man (1973) and The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. Van Assendelft’s Vermeer for clavichord won the British Clavichord Society Composition Competition in 2004 and was shortlisted for a 2005 British Composer Award, whilst Azaleas (for harp, violin and cello) received a Victor Salvi Award in Venice in 2004, and won the 2006 British Composer Award for chamber compositions. He has also won prizes in Monaco and Vienna and received bursaries and awards from the Arts Council and the Holst and Gulbenkian Foundations.

His Songs Of Sadness and Piety for voices, saxophone, organ and percussion appears on Christian Forshaw’s CD Renouncement and his Variations for Organ have been recorded by Timothy Bond for release on the Regent label. Gary teaches composition at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester and the Royal Academy of Music, London, is a guest composition professor on National Youth Orchestra courses, and sometimes appears on television as a cultural pundit

Recent and upcoming works include 1,000,000 Tiny Operas About Britain (text by Craig Taylor. Liverpool, 2010), Closing Time (text by Eva Salzman, Liverpool, 2008), Doubles for oboe, clarinet and wind orchestra (Manchester and Cincinnati, 2009), Fred and Ginger (Daniel Harding with the LSO, 2011), and a Bassoon Concerto (with Vasily Petrenko and the RLPO, 2011).


Image credit: 
Lydia Carpenter