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Howard Blake

Howard Blake OBE (born 28 October 1938) is an English composer whose career has spanned more than 50 years and produced more than 650 works. Blake's most successful work is his soundtrack for Channel 4’s 1982 film The Snowman including the song "Walking in the Air". He is increasingly recognised for his classical works including concertos, oratorios, ballets, operas and many instrumental pieces. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians states: ‘Howard Blake has achieved fame as pianist, conductor and composer.’

Blake was born in London. His mother played piano and violin and his father sang tenor in the church choir. At Brighton, Hove and Sussex Grammar School for boys  he sang lead parts in Gilbert and Sullivan operas and was recognised as a good pianist, but few were aware that he was also writing music.

At the age of 18 years Blake won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music as both pianist and composer but found himself at odds with his contemporaries in regard to musical style. He virtually stopped composing and became interested in film and on leaving the Academy briefly worked as a film projectionist at the National Film Theatre. Missing music he played piano in pubs and clubs for a couple of years until being discovered and signed by EMI to make a solo album and work as a session musician on many recordings. This led him to work as an arranger and a composer, a role which gradually became his full-time occupation.

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Chandos Records
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