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"To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it's about, but the music the words make." - Truman Capote

Paul Reade

Paul Reade (1943-1997) was born in Liverpool, UK. From 1962-65 he studied piano with Alan Richardson at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He went on to the London Opera Centre before becoming répétiteur with the English National Opera. Meanwhile he also had his own compositions performed, including in 1965 his first orchestral piece, Overture to a City, by the Academy Orchestra under Maurice Handford.
His grounding in opera and experience with musical theatre proved immensely valuable when he moved on, as a freelance composer, to BBC television. He was able to write music for specific purposes, achieving full expression in a short timescale, taking in account practicalities such as deadlines and limitations of resources.
For the BBC children’s programme Play School he was not only pianist and songwriter, he also wrote its famous signature tune. Much more music for children’s television followed: Crystal Tipps and Alistair, Ludwig, The Flumps, Mortimer and Arabel and Alphabet Castle. Other works for children included The Midas Touch, Cinderella and Aesop’s Fables, all for narrator and orchestra, and his children’s opera David and Goliath.
Paul also wrote musical scores for classic TV drama series such as A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations and Jane Eyre. Other television scores include the popular signature tune for Antiques Roadshow, Tom’s Midnight Children and the music for The Victorian Kitchen Garden for which he won the Ivor Novello Award 1991.
Given his talent for composing music which tells a story, it seemed almost inevitable that he would turn to writing ballets. Together with choreographer David Bintley he created Hobson’s Choice and Far from the Madding Crowd for the Birmingham Royal Ballet, both hugely successful.
Other ballets included Byron, Cinderella and The Match Girl and the Flame.
Paul’s output of concert music included larger scale music like the Flute Concerto and the Bassoon Concerto (Catalonia), songs for voice and orchestra: Chants du Roussillon, El cant dels ocells, The Lark in a Clear Air, a cantata The Ballad of Judas Iscariot and several works for choir: Seascapes, The Journey of the Winds, St. Brendan and the Fishes and Songs of Oisin.
There are also some wonderful chamber music works: a saxophone quartet, Luckbarrow Dances for oboe trio, Serenata for wind sextet, Aspects of a Landscape for oboe or flute solo, and the Dance Preludes for flute, viola and harp. Paul Reade died in 1997, he was 54.

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Paul Reade
A Celebration of Paul Reade
English Chamber Orchestra