Composers of Light Music

Richard Addinsell

1904 - 1977

Nationality: British

Addinsell was born in January 1904 and will best be remembered for the piece of music he wrote for the 1941 film, Dangerous Moonlight, known to millions as The Warsaw Concerto. He wrote a vast amount of other film and radio and stage music and was otherwise well known at the time for his collaboration with the comedienne and singer, Joyce Grenfell. Richard Addinsell died in 1977.

He studied at Hertford College in Oxford, at the Royal College of Music in 1925 and between 1929 and 1932 in Berlin and Vienna. He went to work in Hollywood in the early '30s but then returned to the UK where he produced a considerable corpus of work for film, stage and radio.

Amongst his memorable film scores are Fire Over England (1937), Goodbye Mr. Chips (1939), Blithe Spirit (1945), Tom Brown's Schooldays (1951), The Prince and the Showgirl (1957) and The Waltz of the Toreadors (1962).

He wrote the supporting music for the one-woman shows of Joyce Grenfell during the height of her fame in the 1950s. But his career has been dominated and his other works largely eclipsed by the fame of the Warsaw Concerto which led to him being awarded the Polish Silver Cross of Merit. Both the sheet music and the numerous recordings of the piece have continued to sell over the years and it retains its remarkable popularity up to the present day.

Addinsell retired in 1965 and died in November 1977.

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30 November 2017

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    • London Chorus, New London Children's Choir, New London Orchestra Conducted by Ronald Corp at Cadogan Hall

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