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Charles Spinks (Composer, Arranger)

Born: 1915 - Lowestoft, Suffolk, England
Died: 1992

The English composer, Charles Spinks, was educated by Thomas Yorke-Trotter at his London Academy of Music and later at Trinity College of Music and London University.

Charles Spinks was well known as a Harpsichordist and Organist and was for many years a BBC Staff Accompanist in London where he regularly played organ at the Henro Wood Promenade Concerts. In later years, he returned to teaching at the Universities of Cambridge and East Anglia until forced to give up by illness in 1986. His musical composition never ceased and, with his wife, the Greek musician, Krinió Papastávrou, he published cantatas, songs and chamber pieces. Apart from music, Spink’s war years as a commissioned officer with the Royal Corps of Signals, when he saw action at El Alamein, led to a fascination with telephones and to a knack of linking local exchange codes to telephone his friends for the price of a local call - until the introduction of STD spoiled his fun. Krinió was a constant inpiration and loving companion. Together, the couple cultivated well over 100 varieties of traditional English rose in the garden of their cottage deep in the West Suffolk countryside.

Charles Spinks' remarkable powers of keyboard improvisation enabled him to give a very imaginative yet stylish quality to his continuo playing for which he was widely known both in the UK and overseas. The same keyboard fluency helped him considerably in the field of composition, and though his output is not large, it is varied and adventurous. Among his works are an early String Quartet, a Piano Sonatina, a Suite for flute and strings, a set of variations on a Greek folksong for piano and orchestra or 2 pianos. He has also written several pieces for organ, including a Toccata, and pieces for piano and small chamber groups. In the field of lighter music he has contributed two overtures for concert band or small orchestra.

List of Works

The Birds: Carol for soprano solo, SATB choir and organ [Bardic Edition]
Concert Toccata for Organ and Brass [Alfred Lengnick]
Dance Suite Op. 12 (arr. Oboe and Strings) [Bardic Edition]
Dance Suite Op. 12 for piano or harpsichord [Bardic Edition]
Five Greek Pictures Op. 8 (arr. Flute, Viola and Harp) [Bardic Edition]
Five Greek Pictures Op. 8 for piano [Bardic Edition]
Four Pieces for piano [Bardic Edition]
Kaleidescope for piano [Bardic Edition]
Lamento Op. 4 for piano [Bardic Edition]
March: ‘Pride of London’ for concert band or orchestra [Alfred Lengnick]
Pavane for oboe and piano [Bardic Edition]
Pebmarsh Fancy for flute and piano [Bardic Edition]
Romance Op. 15 for oboe and harp (or piano) [Bardic Edition]
Short Overture: ‘Fair Wind’ for concert band or orchestra [Alfred Lengnick]
Sonatina Op. 7 for piano [Bardic Edition]
String Quartet for 2 violins, viola and cello [Alfred Lengnick]
Suite for piano [Bardic Edition]
Suite Op. 14 for flute and strings [Alfred Legnick]
Three Arabesques for organ [Bardic Edition]
Toccata for organ [Bardic Edition]
Two Pieces: Bagatelle and Feu Follet for organ [Bardic Edition]
Variations on a Greek Folk-Song for piano and orchestra [Bardic Edition]
Variations on a Greek Folk-Song Op. 6 for 2 pianos, 4 hands [Bardic Edition]


Source: Bardic Music Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (April 2010)

Charles Spinks: Short Biography | Arrangements/Transcriptions: Works | Recordings

Links to other Sites

Charles Spinks (Bardic Music)




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