Robert Farnon (24 July 1917, Toronto, Canada - 23 April 2005, St. Martin’s, Guernsey, England) was well known on the Canadian light entertainment scene through his regular broadcasts with leading musicians. But Farnon's ambitions initially lay in a different direction. His early works included two symphonies and other major works including an Etude For Trumpet and a tone poem Cascades To The Sea.
The war changed Farnon's life. He came to Britain as conductor of the Canadian Band Of The Allied Expeditionary Forces. He had an immediate effect upon the popular music scene, with his fresh and imaginative arrangements for the Canadian Band and other units.In Britain he discovered a form of music that admirably suited his composing talents: Light Orchestral Music, or `Concert Music' as it is better known in North America. Robert Farnon also realized that there was scope in writing for films, so he decided to remain in Britain when the war ended.He was signed to compose mood music for the Chappell Recorded Music Library, and the following fifteen years witnessed an astonishing outpouring of light orchestral compositions that have become minor classics of their genre.
For the cinema, Farnon has written for a wide variety of films.His works for concert band, covering many styles, are a model of scoring, showing all the skills and experience gained during his long career.Many of the top orchestrators on both sides of the Atlantic unashamedly admit that they try to copy his style. "Robert Farnon is the greatest living string writer in the world" is the view expressed by Andre Previn, a comment typical of many in the profession.
Works for Winds
- Allsports March (arr. Cacavas) (1949/1959)
- Colditz March (arr. Sparke) (1972/2014)
- Irish Posey, An
- Men of Harlech (Concert March)
- Peanut Polka (arr. Cacavas) (1958)
- Rhapsody on the Minstrel Boy (as arranger) (1984)
- Strawberry Fair
- Wi' a Hundred Pipers