HOWARD BLAKE (b 1938 )
Howard Blake is mentioned in Groves Dictionary of Music and Musicians as having ‘achieved fame as pianist, conductor and composer’. He grew up in Brighton singing lead rôles as a boy soprano, at eighteen winning a piano scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music, where he studied with Harold Craxton and Howard Ferguson. Over an intensely active career he has written music in virtually every genre: concert works include a Piano Concerto commissioned by the Philharmonia Orchestra for the thirtieth birthday of Diana, Princess of Wales, in which he also featured as soloist: a Violin Concerto to celebrate the centenary of the City of Leeds; a cantata to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations Organization; large-scale choral/orchestral works such as Benedictus and The Passion of Mary and instrumental music such as Lifecycle, 24 pieces for solo piano. His success with childrens’ music, especially the animated film The Snowman, may have tended to overshadow other work, but has in no way hindered his prolific output.