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David Farnon

The Robert Farnon Society is very proud to have David Farnon as its President. Just like his illustrious father, David is very modest about his own achievements, and you are urged to visit his own website to explore the extent of his work. After much persuading, he finally agreed to let us have the following autobiography for our own website!

David Farnon Autobiography

David Farnon,  President of the Robert Farnon Society

David Farnon,
President of
the Robert Farnon Society

Visit David Farnon's website

David was born in London in 1956 - the same year the Robert Farnon Society was founded. He grew up with his three brothers and sister in Guernsey. His earliest recollections are of music, whether playing the latest 78s from Chappells on his record player or attending recording sessions. His ambition was always to be a composer, fascinated by the squiggles and dashes on the manuscript paper sitting on Bob’s piano and deeply affected by the wonderful orchestral sounds he was surrounded by at home.

Apart from his interest in classical music, his biggest musical influence was of course Bob. David recalls that when his dad was working on "Shalako" he sat him down and explained how film music is constructed, working from cue sheets without the benefit of picture. In the years to come he would study Bob’s compositional techniques in his serious works and his orchestration. He also learnt the art of arranging from him.

He studied piano and organ, gaining professional diplomas from the Royal Academy of Music, the Royal College of Music and Trinity College of Music London whilst still at school. He went on to read music at Cambridge, studying composition with Robin Holloway. During his time there he had his first commercial releases, production music written for Chappells and recorded by the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble.

After university he worked on two films with Bob, "Bear Island" and "Mary and "Joseph". Then he went freelance, starting at ATV television with shows such as "The Muppets" and the Royal Variety Performance. His 20s were devoted mainly to performing, conducting and producing, working with orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic, The London Symphony and the London Philharmonic in venues such as the Royal Festival Hall, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Barbican, the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and the London Palladium.

Artistic collaborations with Bob included albums with George Benson, Pia Zadora, George Shearing, Carole Kidd, Eileen Farrell and Jose Carreras, as well as concerts and live and recorded radio and television. He performed as soloist in the "Three Cameos for Piano and Orchestra" and conducted the first recording of Bob’s piano concerto "Cascades to the Sea" as well as the production music he wrote for Carlin. His last collaboration was as producer on Bob’s album "Lovers Love London" in 2001.

Since 1990 he has devoted himself mainly to composition, to date over 500 published and recorded works. He has a studio at home in Guernsey and travels regularly to England or abroad to record with various artistes and orchestras. His wife Susie is an accountant, elder son Tom is also a composer and George is studying to be an economist.

March 2012

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