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NB The following profile has been written using information at Howard Goodall's website http://www.howardgoodall.co.uk and from other sources such a Wikipedia. The information has been presented in the context of a concert which includes works by Howard Goodall'.
Howard Goodall CBE was born in Bromley, Kent in May 1958. He was educated at New College School, Stowe School and Lord Williams's School and read music at Christ Church, Oxford. He is a prolific composer, having written a large body of work: choral works, stage musicals, and scores for film and TV. He is also a well-established and distinguished broadcaster, having presented programmes on music for BBC2, Channel 4 Television and Classic FM. He is married to Val Fancourt, a classical music agent. They have worked together on music projects, notably at the time of the composition of his famous 'Eternal Light: a Requiem' when she approached him, as an agent, suggesting that the choir of Christ Church Cathedral Oxford sing at the first performance of his work. Howard Goodall composes in the classical mode, but is very ready to see the value of modern popular music. He is a modern classical composer who has adapted and responded splendidly to the musical needs and interests of all people in the late 20th Century and early 21st Century. Goodall was musical commentator for the V and A exhibition 'David Bowie is' in March 2013 and for the exhibition 'Diaghilev and the Ballet Russes' in September 2010.
Where Howard engages directly with students, he gives thorough and honest answers to their (invited) questions. An example is given on his website, where he discusses how, when composing his 'Eternal Light: a Requiem', he set about working with other artists and musical directors in the choral and dance disciplines, and how he finally formed his view of what a requiem should be, namely a work giving solace to the bereaved. (He was not happy with some of the harsher and more judgemental text from earlier Requiems.)
Howard Goodall was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2011 New Year Honours for his services to music education
Howard Goodall composed the theme and incidental music for several popular UK comedy programmes, including 'Red Dwarf', 'Blackadder', 'Mr. Bean', 'The Thin Blue Line', 'The Vicar of Dibley', 'The Catherine Tate Show', Two point four Children and QI. (He has appeared twice as a panellist on QI.) When he was an undergraduate at Christ Church, Oxford, he met the actor Rowan Atkinson and the writer Richard Curtis, and this association led to collaboration on several TV projects.
For the Regatta celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, Howard was commissioned to write a contribution to a suite of music being composed by a group of the UK's leading composers. It is a 21st century tribute to Handel's Water Music.
At the Olypics event, Howard 's Arrangement of 'Chariots Of Fire' was played by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, and for this event the orchestra included Rowan Atkinson as a 'Mr Bean like' character, who seemed to have only one note to play. His behaviour and apparent boredom with his part caused the world to laugh.
Howard Goodall contributed two choral items for the August 4th commemoration of the beginning of the First World War at St Symphorien Military Cemetery near Mons, Belgium which was broadcast live on BBC2 in 2014..
An arrangement of the songs of British and German soldiers as a suite with military band accompaniment.
A new work called 'Sure of the Sky, Sure of the Sun' based on the poems by Charlotte Mew and a German soldier who was killed in action on the Western Front. It was performed by the London Symphony Chorus and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Choir in the presence of members of the UK Government, the Presidents of Germany and Eire, the King and Queen of the Belgians and Prince William and Catherine and Prince Harry
Howard Goodall has been commissioned by a wide range of organisations to write music for special events and commemorations. For example:-
For Tonbridge School he arranged an orchestral and choir score for Psalm 122 to commemorate their chapel which burnt down in the 1980's.
For Truro Cathedral he wrote a work for the Cathedral's four choirs entitled 'A New Heart, A New Spirit' which sets text from Ezekiel in four languages.
He wrote an oratorio 'Every Purpose Under the Heaven' which Sir Ewan and Lady Harper commissioned as a gift for the United Church Schools Trust and the United Learning Trust, to mark the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. It was premiered in Westminster Abbey in November 2011, conducted by the composer.
He wrote the music and lyrics of 'Steadfast' in aid of Global's 'Make Some Noise', a charity which helps disadvantaged children in the UK. It was released on 14th October 2014, and rapidly reached to No.1 in the UK classical chart. The performance of 'Steadfast included contributions from Katherine Jenkins, Laura Wright, Milos, Charlie Siem, Alfie Boe, Myleene Klass and Alexander Armstrong.
In addition to his CBE for services to Education, quoted above, Howard has received many awards and recognition as follows:-
In May 2009 he was named "Composer of the Year" at the Classical BRIT Awards for his work 'Eternal Light: a Requiem'.
He received a Royal Television Society award in 1997 for his TV presentation 'Organ Works', and the 2000 BAFTA Huw Wheldon award for his TV presentation 'Big Bangs' which looks in detail at particular moments in time where one personís ideas and actions have changed the course of Western music.
In 2009, Howard received the Karl Haas Prize for Music Education, awarded by the Fine Arts Radio International of Missouri Southern State University.
In September 2009 Howard was nominated for an Emmy Award for his work on the biographic film about Winston Churchill 'Into the Storm' - in the category 'Music Composition for a Mini Series, Movie, or Special (Dramatic Score)'.
Howard also has been awarded honorary Doctorates of Music from Bishop Grosseteste University College in Lincoln, the University of Bolton, Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts (in partnership with the University of East Anglia) and Doctor of Literature (Education) from the Institute of Education, University of London.
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