Saturday, August 11, 2018

Who Are Those Composers ~ Douglas Gamley

John Douglas Gamley was born in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on September 24, 1924. His parents were John McKenzie Gamley and his wife, Helen "Nellie" Patrick. Less than two days later, Nellie died on September 26, 1924.

One of Gamley's early teachers was Waldemar Seidel in Melbourne. In September 1944 Gamley appeared as a solo pianist with the ABC Symphony Orchestra at the Melbourne Town Hall. His performance was described by The Argus' reviewer: he "showed brilliance" including his effort on "Liszt's A major concerto (No 2) [which] had an assured technique, but can still go a long way before his powers as an interpreter of his composer are fully used." In November of that year, as a student at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, he played piano alongside Ann Molan on violin for César Franck's Sonata for Violin and Pianoforte and Édouard Lalo's Symphonie espagnole.

Gamley was particularly influenced by Modest Mussorgsky, creating a full orchestral version of his Pictures at an Exhibition, and adapting his Night on Bald Mountain for his score for the horror feature film, “Asylum” (1972). David Nice reviewed "The Bogatyr (Heroes') Gate at Kiev" from Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition and felt that "few have gone quite as far as the brilliant Australian-born arranger and film-score composer [Gamley]", and that he provided "a happier meeting" with Mussorgsky's work than that in “Asylum”. Gamley adapted Gabriel Fauré's Pavane for “The Monster Club” (1980).

Gamley created many vocal arrangements for the Dames Joan Sutherland and Kiri Te Kanawa, both for performing and recordings. He also made orchestral arrangements of songs for Luciano Pavarotti and Victoria de los Ángeles. He was associated for many years with the Australian Pops Orchestra as their conductor and arranger. According to AllMusic's Bruce Elder Gamley wrote "'stock music' for the BBC library" including for the ‘Doctor Who’ TV series; he also wrote the soundtrack of the Disney feature film, “Tron” (1982).

John Douglas Gamley died on February 5 1998 in Highgate, London, England.

GAMLEY, Douglas (John Douglas Gamley) [9/24/1924, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia – 2/5/1998, Highgate, London, England, U.K.] – composer, conductor, arranger, songwriter, musician (piano).
The Canadians - 1961

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