Out of Africa - John Barry


John Barry (1933-2011), born in York, England, was one of the world's best-known and most popular film score composers. Aside from those who were also well-known classical composers, he is probably the most notable of all British film composers. His career was inherited from both his mother and father. His mother was a pianist with classical training who saw to it that he got a musical education, playing trumpet and piano. His father owned a movie theater. John's exposure to films increased when he left school at age 15 to work full-time as a projectionist in his father's cinema. By then he was already on the way to deciding definitely to pursue a career in film music. He joined a local band as trumpet player and was a bandsman during his military service from 1952 to 1955. Meanwhile, he studied with the organist of York Minster, the historic church of York, and by correspondence with American composer/arranger William Russo and with Joseph Schillinger, the theorist-teacher who had also taught George Gershwin compositional technique and form. At this time Barry began arranging for band. In 1957, he founded John Barry and the Seven, a pop/rock band (later the John Barry Seven) which remained in existence through 1966. One of his most prominent early jobs was as arranger-musical director for the popular British singer Adam Faith. After agreeing to compose the scores for two films in which Faith had been cast, Barry was approached to do the musical arrangements for Dr. No. , a 1962 British spy film, starring Sean Connery; it was the first of the James Bond series, based on the 1958 novel of the same name by Ian Fleming. John Barry captured five Academy Awards - for Born Free (1966; Oscars for both best score and best song), The Lion in Winter (1968), Out of Africa (1985), and Dances with Wolves (1990) - as well as nominations for Mary, Queen of Scots (1971) and Chaplin (1992). His other film scores include Zulu (1964), The Ipcress File (1965), Midnight Cowboy (1969), Somewhere in Time (1980), Body Heat (1981), Peggy Sue Got Married (1986), and Enigma (2001). He also composed for the stage, including the moderately successful musicals Passion Flower Hotel (1965) and Billy (1974), and won four Grammy Awards, notably best jazz instrumental performance, big band, for the film sound track of The Cotton Club (1984). In 1999 John Barry was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) at Buckingham Palace for services to music, and received the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Academy Fellowship Award in 2005. Also in 2005, the American Film Institute ranked John Barry's score for Out of Africa No.15 on their list of the greatest film scores. Out of Africa (film score) Performed by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra Carl Davis, Conductor

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