In conversation with Alastair Laurence.
In an illustrious and award-winning career composer George Fenton has written scores for over 200 films, documentaries, TV series and theatre productions.
He was first nominated for an Academy Award in 1982 with Ravi Shankar for the score to Richard Attenborough’s biopic Gandhi. And went on to write for another four Attenborough films including Cry Freedom and Shadowlands. George has worked with many other film directors. With Ken Loach he has written scores for 18 films including Land and Freedom, The Wind That Shakes the Barley, I Daniel Blake and most recently The Old Oak. His many other film credits include The Company of Wolves, Dangerous Liaisons, The Fisher King and Groundhog Day.
For television he has enjoyed a long collaboration with writer Alan Bennett, writing music for his monologues Talking Heads and Telling Tales. Other TV credits include classic series like The Jewel in the Crown, The Monocled Mutineer and The History Man. In 1990 George began composing for the BBC Natural History Unit on series like Trials of Life and Life in the Freezer. This led him to write soundtracks for the original Blue Planet, Planet Earth and Frozen Planet series. He has also penned many very well-known TV theme tunes including Shoestring, Bergerac, Omnibus, Newsnight, Telly Addicts and Breakfast Time.
Theatre work has included productions with director Peter Gill of Twelfth Night, Macbeth, Othello, Anthony and Cleopatra, and the original production of Good at the RSC. He wrote music for Racing Demon and A Month in The Country at the National Theatre. And has worked on many other productions in Manchester, Nottingham, Chichester, the Royal Court in London and recently at the Josephstadt Theatre in Vienna.
The music of George Fenton has been recognised with numerous awards: that include 5 Oscar nominations, multiple Ivor Novellos, BAFTA, Golden Globe, Emmy and Lifetime Achievement awards from The World Soundtrack Awards and National Television Awards.
Alastair Laurence, who is curating this series, is a freelance documentary film maker who lives near Abergavenny. In recent years Alastair has made films about The Battle of the Somme, a history of British Photography and the poets John Betjeman, Philip Larkin and TS Eliot.
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