Robert Farnon

(1917—2005) composer and musical arranger

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b. 24 July 1917, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, d. 23 April 2005, Guernsey, Channel Islands, British Isles. Gifted with a prodigious musical talent, early in his life Farnon was accomplished on several instruments, and at the age of 11 was playing with the Toronto Junior Symphony Orchestra. In 1932 he joined the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Orchestra where the musical director, Percy Faith, made him responsible for many of the choral arrangements. In 1941 Farnon’s First Symphony was performed by the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra under Eugene Ormandy. At the start of World War II Farnon enlisted in the Canadian army and was sent to Europe as leader of the Canadian Band of the American Expeditionary Force. After the war, he remained in the UK, writing arrangements for popular bands such as those of Ted Heath and Geraldo. He formed and led a studio orchestra for a long-running BBC radio series and many of his light orchestral compositions became popular, most notably ‘Jumping Bean’, ‘Portrait Of A Flirt’, ‘The Westminster Waltz’ and ‘The Colditz March’. His other important compositions have included ‘Melody Fair’, ‘Peanut Polka’, ‘A La Claire Fontaine’, ‘Gateway To The West’, ‘Pictures In The Fire’, ‘A Star Is Born’, ‘Manhattan Playboy’, Journey Into Melody’, ‘Lake Of The Woods’, ‘Derby Day’, and ‘State Occasion’.


From Encyclopedia of Popular Music in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Music.

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