Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

Gordon Langford (11 May 1930 – 18 April 2017)

2:24, 25th April 2017

British composer and arranger Gordon Langford has died aged 86.

Langford studied piano and composition at the Royal Academy of Music with Norman Demuth before serving with the Royal Artillery Band. He held a number of roles, including positions with seaside orchestras, a touring opera company and as a ship’s musician, before coming to prominence as a pianist, arranger and composer in the 1960s.

He was involved with programmes such as Music in the Air, Melody around the World and Ronnie Barker’s Lines From My Grandfather’s Forehead. Some of his compositions and arrangements were used as Test Card music in the 1960s and 1970s, and he also wrote and arranged music for numerous BBC programmes including Friday Night is Music Night.

He also orchestrated the scores for several West End musical shows and films including Raiders of the Lost Ark, Superman II, First Great Train Robbery, Clash of the Titans and Return to Oz.

Langford won an Ivor Novello Award for best light music composition for the ‘March’ from Colour Suite in 1971. In 1994, he was awarded the gold badge of merit by Basca, and in 2011 was nominated for a fellowship of the Royal Academy of Music (FRAM).

Chandos, which recorded his music, paid tribute to Langford as ‘a great light music composer, brass music arranger and close friend of the Chandos family.’

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