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Anthony Bernard (Conductor)

Born: 1891 - London, England
Died: 1963

The English conductor and composer, Anthony Bernard, studied composition with Granville Bantock, Borwock, John Ireland, and also with the composer Joseph Holbrooke.

Anthony Bernard was firstly organist and a piano accompanist, choir director, before becoming a conductor. He is best remembered for his conductorship of the London Chamber Orchestra (and Singers), which for upwards of thirty years explored unfamiliar repertoire; but he also directed the British National Opera Company (1924-1925) and at Stratford-on-Avon (1932-1942), Canterbury, and Cambridge Festivals, and from 1924 onward took part in broadcasts. He also appeared in France, Holland, Greece, Spain, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Switzerland, etc. The English composer, Robert Simpson (1821-1997), dedicated his Symphony No.2 (1955-1956) to Bernard, who conducted the premiere of the work with the London Chamber Orchestra.

Anthony Bernard wrote much incidental music for radio productions late in life. His scores included Iphigenia in Aulis (1951, later re-used with additions of his own by Rae Jenkins, himself sometime conductor of the BBC Welsh and BBC Variety Orchestras), The Tempest (also 1951), A Midsummer Night's Dream and the Ion and Bacchae of Euripides. In 1956 Bernard made a version for the BBC of The Beggar's Opera, scoring it for flute, oboe, bassoon, harpsichord and strings. His earlier works include an organ prelude, Rorate Coeli (1916), Variations on a Hill Tune, for piano (1920) and songs like The Cherry Tree Song.

Anthony Bernard was honoured as Officer de l'Academie in 1948. He was married twice, first with Marie Augustine Jourdan (divorced), second with Mary Catherine Beattie, and had two daughters.

 

Source: International Who's Who in Music & International Directory (4th Edition, 1962); British Classical Music Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (December 2005)

Anthony Bernard: Short Biography | Recordings of Vocal Works

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British Conductor Composers: British Classical Music

 

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Last update: June 29, 2008 22:09:27