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Composer inspired by Sheffield meeting

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A Barnsley-born composer who arranged music for TV and West End shows has died aged 75.

Patric Standford was born in Barnsley in 1939, and suffered the loss of his mother when he was only four.

Aged 10, he was watching John Barbirolli rehearse the Halle Orchestra in Sheffield when the conductor wandered into the auditorium.

Sitting down next to the young Patric, he asked: “Well, how was that, young man?”. Patric replied: “I think that sounded splendid” - at which Barbirolli leapt up and shouted to the orchestra: “This young man thinks it sounds fine. That’s good enough for me.”

Patric went to school in Pontefract, where he played violin and piano, before National Service with the RAF.

In 1961 he joined the Guildhall School of Music, won the Royal Philharmonic Society award in 1962, and embarked on a career arranging themes for films, TV and the West End, composing at the piano surrounded by pencils, eraser rubbings and cigarette ash.

He served as chair of the Composers’ Guild and of the British Music Information Centre, and for 28 years was music critic of The Yorkshire Post.

Widowed, he died in Suffolk, and is survived by two sons and a daughter.

 

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