Brian Easdale

Brian Easdale (10 August 1909 – 30 October 1995) was an English composer of operatic, orchestral, choral and film music.

Early life

Easdale was born in Manchester, England. He was educated at Westminster Abbey School and the Royal College of Music.


For the opera house and the concert hall, his works include the operas Rapunzel (1927), The Corn King (1935, not performed until November 1950)[1][2] and The Sleeping Children (1951).[3] His orchestral works included Five pieces for orchestra, Six Poems, and Tone Poem. For choir, Easdale wrote the Missa Coventrensis.[4]

Easdale also composed film and theatre music. He worked for the GPO Film Unit on films such as Big Money (1937), Job in a Million (1937) and Men in Danger (1939).[5] His film scores included several for Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, including Black Narcissus (1947), The Red Shoes (1948), The Small Back Room (1949), The Elusive Pimpernel (1950), The Battle of the River Plate (1956), Miracle in Soho (1957), The Queen's Guards (1961) and Powell's Peeping Tom (1960). He was the first British composer to win an Academy Award for Best Original Music Score, for his music for The Red Shoes.


A CD of some of Easdale's film music was released in January 2011.[6] Recorded in 2010 by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales with the BBC National Chorus of Wales. The CD includes the full ballet from The Red Shoes (from the original score, complete with Ondes Martenot), it also includes music from Black Narcissus and Gone to Earth.


  1. Jacobs, Arthur, "Opera in London" (December 1950)
  2. The Musical Times, 91 (1294): pp. 481–482
  3. "A.J." (full name not given), "Cheltenham Festival" (September 1951), The Musical Times, 92 (1303): pp. 416–417
  4. Brett, Philip, "New Choir Music" (1962), The Musical Times, 103 (1433): p. 492
  5. Mathieson, Muir, "Music for Crown" (Spring 1948). Hollywood Quarterly, 3 (3): pp. 323–326.
  6. Details on Amazon


  • Oxford Concise Dictionary of Music by Michael Kennedy (Fourth Edition) – ISBN 0-19-280037-X

This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.