Francis Chagrin

Francis Chagrin (born Alexander Paucker, 15 November 1905 – 10 November 1972),[1][2] was a composer of film scores and popular orchestral music, as well as a conductor. He was also the "organizer and chief moving spirit" who founded the Society for the Promotion of New Music.[3]

Francis Chagrin
Alexander Paucker

November 15, 1905
DiedNovember 10, 1972 (aged 66)


He was born in Bucharest, Romania, to Jewish parents and at their insistence studied for an engineering degree in Zurich while secretly studying at that city’s music conservatoire. He graduated in 1928 but when his family failed to support his musical ambitions, left home and moved to Paris where he adopted his new, French-sounding name.[1]

By playing in nightclubs and cafes and writing popular songs, he funded himself though two years, from 1933, at the Ecole Normale, where his teachers included Paul Dukas and Nadia Boulanger, and settled in England in 1936.[1]

At the outbreak of World War II, he was appointed musical adviser and composer-in-chief to the BBC French Service and the programme Les Français parlent aux Français. For this, he was decorated Officier d'Academie by the French government in 1948. He spoke French fluently, as well as perfect English (with a French accent), Romanian and German, and good Italian and Spanish. For a trip to the USSR in October 1966, he studied Russian.[1]

In January 1943 Chagrin founded The Committee for the Promotion of New Music (later renamed Society for the Promotion of New Music) with the intention of promoting the creation, performance and appreciation of new music by young and unestablished composers. Ralph Vaughan Williams agreed to be its president, with Arthur Bliss the committee's vice-president.[3][4]

In 1951 Chagrin formed his own chamber ensemble.[1] He composed the score for the 1955 film about Colditz, The Colditz Story. His harmonica work Roumanian Fantasy was composed in 1956 for Larry Adler.

In 1959 he composed the theme and incidental music for the Sapphire Films TV series The Four Just Men for ITV.

In 1963, he won the Harriet Cohen International Music Award as "film composer of the year".[1] The following year, he composed music for the Doctor Who television episodes The Dalek Invasion of Earth.[1][5]


His sons are the actors Nicolas and Julian Chagrin,[6] husband of actress and comedian Rolanda Chagrin.


Chagrin's work includes 200 film scores, television and commercials.



  • Prelude and Fugue for Orchestra (1947)
  • Piano Concerto (1948)[2]
  • Prelude and Fugue for Two Violins (1950)
  • Roumanian Fantasy (1956)
  • Symphony No 1 (1946–59, rev 1965)
  • Symphony No 2 (1965–71)

Film scores


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Francis Chagrin at Chester Novello
  2. ^ a b Scowcroft, Philip (January 2009). "Francis Chagrin". MusicWeb-International. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
  3. ^ a b Carner, Mosco (October 1945), "The Committee for the Promotion of New Music", The Musical Times: 297, doi:10.2307/934638, JSTOR 934638
  4. ^ Payne, Anthony. "Society for the Promotion of New Music", Grove Music Online, Oxford University Press, retrieved 15 June 2014. (subscription required)
  5. ^ "The Dalek Invasion of Earth". Dr Who guide. Retrieved 2 January 2011.
  6. ^ Julian Chagrin profile

External links

1943 in British music

This is a summary of 1943 in music in the United Kingdom.

1952 in British music

This is a summary of 1952 in music in the United Kingdom, including the official charts from that year.

This year was a turning point for music in not only the UK, but all over the world. The first official UK Singles Chart began in November 1952, compiled by the NME. This made the United Kingdom the first country in the world to have an official singles chart and created it in many other countries, with the Billboard Hot 100 era beginning in 1958 in the U.S. The singles chart quickly became a phenomenon and record breaking became a new excitement for the public. Compiled solely on sales; it kept this trend until April 2005, when it was combined with legal downloads.

1954 in British music

This is a summary of 1954 in music of all genres in the United Kingdom.

1955 in British music

This is a summary of 1955 in music of all genres in the United Kingdom.

Chagrin (surname)

Chagrin is a Hebrew-language surname, and may refer to:

Francis Chagrin (1905-1972), Romanian-born British composer

Julian Chagrin (born 1940), British-Israeli actor

Rolanda Chagrin (born 1957), Israeli actress

Gerard Hoffnung

Gerard Hoffnung (22 March 1925 – 28 September 1959) was an artist and musician, best known for his humorous works.

Raised in Germany, Hoffnung was brought to London as a boy, to escape the Nazis. Over the next two decades in England, he became known as a cartoonist, tuba player, impresario, broadcaster and raconteur.

After training at two art colleges, Hoffnung taught for a few years, and then turned to drawing, on the staff of English and American publications, and later as a freelance. He published a series of cartoons on musical themes, and illustrated the works of novelists and poets.

In 1956 Hoffnung mounted the first of his "Hoffnung Festivals" in London, at which classical music was spoofed for comic effect, with contributions from many eminent musicians. As a broadcaster he appeared on BBC panel games, where he honed the material for one of his best-known performances, his speech at the Oxford Union in 1958.

Harmonica concerto

Since the 1940s, a number of concertos (as well as non-concerto works) have been written for the harmonica, both as a solo instrument as well as in conjunction with other solo instrument(s), and accompanied by string orchestra, chamber orchestra, full orchestra, band, or similar large ensemble. Nearly all harmonica concertos are composed for the chromatic harmonica, with the exception of the 2001 concerto for the 10-hole harmonica by Howard Levy.

Such works include:

Malcolm Arnold: Concerto for Harmonica and Orchestra, Op. 46 (1954, composed for Larry Adler)

Milton Barnes - Concerto for Harmonica and Strings (for Tommy Reilly)

Arthur Benjamin - Harmonica Concerto (1953, for Larry Adler)

Jean-François Marcoux - Harmonica Concerto Le sommeil des voeux (1990) et Harmonica concerto 'ôde à Siguer'

Robert Russell Bennett - Concerto (1974)

Jean Berger - Caribbean Concerto (1940, for Larry Adler)

Francis Chagrin - Romanian Fantasy (1956, for Larry Adler)

Henry Cowell Concerto for Harmonica and Orchestra (1962, for John Sebastian)

Norman Dello Joio - Concertino for Harmonica and Orchestra (1948, for John Sebastian)

Brett Deubner - Concerto for Harmonica and Orchestra

Leo Diamond - Skin Diver Suite (1956)

Robert Farnon - Prelude and Dance for Harmonica and Orchestra (1966 - for Tommy Reilly)

Walter Girnatis - Concertino

Sigmund Groven: Legends, for Harmonica and Strings (2003)

Richard Hayman - Concerto (1978)

Hugo Herrmann - Concertino (1948)

Alan Hovhaness - Concerto No. 6, op. 114 (1953-4, for John Sebastian)

Gordon Jacob

Divertimento (1957, for Larry Adler)

Five Pieces for harmonica and piano (1957; also arranged for harmonica and orchestra, for Tommy Reilly)

Introduction and Galop for Two Harmonicas and Strings (1976, for Tommy Reilly and Sigmund Groven)

Egil Kapstad: Prelude for Harmonica and Orchestra (2008, for Sigmund Groven)

George Kleinsinger - Street Corner Concerto (1942, for John Sebastian)

Karl-Heinz Köper - Concerto for Harmonica and Orchestra, Op. 12 (1961, for Tommy Reilly)

Oddvar S.Kvam: Colours, for Harmonica and Strings (1996, for Sigmund Groven)

Serge Lancen - Concerto (1958, for Larry Adler)

Alan Langford: Concertante for Harmonica and Strings (1981, for Tommy Reilly)

Howard Levy - Concerto for Diatonic Harmonica and Orchestra - first concerto for 10-hole harmonica and orchestra

Frank Lewin - Concerto for Harmonica and Orchestra (1960, for John Sebastian)

George Martin

Three American Sketches for Harmonica and Strings (1980, for Tommy Reilly)

Adagietto for Harmonica and Strings (1985, for Tommy Reilly)

Darius Milhaud - Suite anglaise for harmonica (or violin) and orchestra, Op. 234 (1942, for Larry Adler)

James Moody

Toledo, Spanish Fantasy for Harmonica and Orchestra (1960, for Tommy Reilly)

Little Suite for Harmonica and Orchestra (1960, for Tommy Reilly)

Period Piece for Harmonica and Orchestra (1964, for Tommy Reilly)

Innis Fallen for Harmonica and Orchestra (1965, for Tommy Reilly)

Divertissement for Harmonica and Orchestra (1967, for Tommy Reilly)

Cosmos, for Harmonica and Orchestra (1970, for Tommy Reilly)

From Other Days, for Harmonica and Strings (1970, for Tommy Reilly)

Quintet for Harmonica and String Quartet (1972, for Tommy Reilly)

Suite dans le style français, for harmonica and harp (1979, for Tommy Reilly)

Jacaranda for Harmonica and Orchestra (1984, for Tommy Reilly)

A. J. Potter - Concertino (1967)

Les Reed: Niagara Suite for Harmonica and Orchestra (1985, for Tommy Reilly)

William Russo - Street Music, A Blues Concerto

Terje Rypdal: Modulations for Harmonica and Orchestra (1981, for Sigmund Groven)

Henri Sauguet - The Garden's Concerto (1970, for Claude Garden)

Max Saunders

Sonatina for Harmonica and Piano (1978, for Tommy Reilly)

Invention for Two Harmonicas, Strings and Harp (1976, for Tommy Reilly and Sigmund Groven)

Kenneth Sivertsen: The Oak Tree, for Harmonica and Strings (1995, for Sigmund Groven)

Øistein Sommerfeldt: Harmonica Fantasia (1979, for Sigmund Groven)

Henning Sommerro: Concertino for Harmonica and Orchestra (2008. for Sigmund Groven)

Michael Spivakovsky - Concerto (1951, for Tommy Reilly)

Siegfried Steinkogler - Harmonica Concerto (2001, for Sigmund Groven)

Vilem Tausky - Concertino (1963, for Tommy Reilly)

Alexander Tcherepnin - Concerto for Harmonica and Orchestra, Op. 86 (1953, for John Sebastian)

Fried Walter

Ballade and Tarantella for Harmonica and Orchestra (1961, for Tommy Reilly)

The Adventures of Corporal Smith, for Harmonica and Big Band (1968, for Tommy Reilly)

Fried Walter: Duettino for two Harmonicas and Orchestra (1969 for Tommy Reilly and Sigmund Groven)

Francis Ward: Kaleidoscope for Harmonica and Orchestra (1964, for Tommy Reilly)

Ralph Vaughan Williams - Romance in D-flat for harmonica, piano, and strings (1951, for Larry Adler)

Heitor Villa-Lobos - Concerto for Harmonica and Orchestra (1955, for John Sebastian)

Meiro Sugawara - Concerto for Harmonica and Orchestra (1978, for Joe Sakimoto)

Graham Whettam

Fantasy (1953, for Tommy Reilly)

Concerto Scherzoso, Op. 9 (1951, Larry Adler)

Second Concerto, Op. 34 (for Tommy Reilly)

Rudolf Wurthner - Intermezzo Giocoso (1957)

Corky Siegel

Corky Siegel's Chamber Blues – Chamber Blues (1994 – Alligator)

Complementary Colors – Chamber Blues (1998 – Gadfly)

Corky Siegel's Traveling Chamber Blues Show – Chamber Blues (2005 – Alligator)

A good portion of Chamber Blues material is written as a harmonic concerto. i.e. Opus 7, Opus 8, Opus 12 Filisko's Dream, Opus 13 Unfinished Jump, Opus 17, Opus 18, Opus 19, Opus 20, Opus 21, Opus 22, Five Planets in Harmonica Convergence, .. all for Harmonica and String Quartet with East Indian Tabla is some cases.

Harriet Cohen International Music Award

The Harriet Cohen International Music Award was founded in 1951 by Sir Arnold Bax and others, in honour of the British pianist Harriet Cohen.

Hoffnung Music Festival

The Hoffnung Music Festivals were a series of three humorous classical music festivals held in Royal Festival Hall, London in 1956, 1958 and 1961 (and a reprise in 1988). They were created by cartoonist and amateur tuba player Gerard Hoffnung.

They included works such as Haydn's Surprise Symphony 'with extra surprises' added by Donald Swann, an 'excerpt from Belshazzar's Feast', with full orchestra and chorus conducted by William Walton himself (with a fly swat), which turned out to consist of just a single chord with the word "Slain!", and humorous works specially commissioned from well-known composers of the day.

John Giordano (conductor)

John Read Giordano (born December 31, 1937) is an American orchestra conductor, professor of music, composer, and former concert saxophonist. He is Associate Professor of Music at Texas Christian University. He is Music Director Emeritus of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra where he served as Music Director and Conductor for 27 years, Founder of the Fort Worth Chamber Orchestra, Jury Chairman of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition since 1973, Music Director Emeritus of the Youth Orchestra of Greater Fort Worth, Founder and Director of the Colorado College Summer Music Festival and Conservatory, Director of Chamber Music for the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival, International Guest Conductor, published composer and arranger with an extensive award winning discography.

Julian Chagrin

Julian Chagrin (born 22 February 1940, London) is a British-Israeli comedy actor. He is the husband of actress and comedian Rolanda Chagrin. His father was the composer and conductor Francis Chagrin, who was born to Jewish parents in Bucharest, Romania, while his mother was Irish.

He is perhaps best known as one of the tennis-playing mimes in the 1966 cult film Blowup, and as the 'secret lemonade drinker' in a popular advert for R. White's Lemonade in the 1970s. After appearing in films such as Danger Route (1967) and Alfred the Great (1969), he played Bill the Lizard in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1972), which notably featured Peter Sellers as the March Hare and Spike Milligan as the Gryphon, and he acted with Sellers and Milligan again in The Great McGonagall in 1974. He also appeared as Maxi Grease, an odious TV host, in "Superstar", an episode of The Goodies, and as one half of a murderous comedy duo, together with Jimmy Jewel, in an episode of The Avengers.

List of Doctor Who composers

This is a list of composers for the science fiction television series, Doctor Who. It is sortable by a number of different criteria. The list defaults to ascending alphabetical order the composer's last name.

London Symphony Orchestra filmography

The London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) has been associated with the cinema since the days of silent film. During the 1920s the orchestra played scores arranged and conducted by Eugene Goossens to accompany screenings of The Three Musketeers (1922), The Nibelungs (1924), The Constant Nymph (1927) and The Life of Beethoven (1929).Since 1935 the LSO has recorded the musical scores of more than 200 films. The orchestra owed its engagement for its first run of soundtrack sessions to Muir Mathieson, musical director of Korda Studios. On the LSO's website, the film specialist Robert Rider calls Mathieson "the most important single figure in the early history of British film music, who enlisted Bliss to write a score for Things to Come, and who was subsequently responsible for bringing the most eminent British 20th-century composers to work for cinema." Mathieson described the LSO as "the perfect film orchestra". Among the composers commissioned by Mathieson for LSO soundtracks were Vaughan Williams, Walton, Britten and Malcolm Arnold and lighter composers including Eric Coates and Noël Coward.As a pinnacle of Mathieson's collaboration with the LSO, Rider cites the 1946 film Instruments of the Orchestra, a film record of the LSO at work. Malcolm Sargent conducted the orchestra in a performance of Britten's The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, composed for the film. Rider adds, "Mathieson's documentary, with its close-ups of the musicians and their instruments, beautifully captures the vibrancy and texture of the Orchestra amidst the optimism of the post-Second World War era."A later milestone in the LSO's history in film music was in 1977 with the recording of John Williams's score for the first of the seven Star Wars films. Rider comments that this film and its sequels "attracted a new group of admirers and consolidated the period of film music activity for the Orchestra, which continues unabated to this day". The LSO also recorded other Williams film scores, including Superman (1978), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002).

Neoclassicism (music)

Neoclassicism in music was a twentieth-century trend, particularly current in the interwar period, in which composers sought to return to aesthetic precepts associated with the broadly defined concept of "classicism", namely order, balance, clarity, economy, and emotional restraint. As such, neoclassicism was a reaction against the unrestrained emotionalism and perceived formlessness of late Romanticism, as well as a "call to order" after the experimental ferment of the first two decades of the twentieth century. The neoclassical impulse found its expression in such features as the use of pared-down performing forces, an emphasis on rhythm and on contrapuntal texture, an updated or expanded tonal harmony, and a concentration on absolute music as opposed to Romantic program music.

In form and thematic technique, neoclassical music often drew inspiration from music of the 18th century, though the inspiring canon belonged as frequently to the Baroque and even earlier periods as to the Classical period—for this reason, music which draws inspiration specifically from the Baroque is sometimes termed neo-Baroque music. Neoclassicism had two distinct national lines of development, French (proceeding partly from the influence of Erik Satie and represented by Igor Stravinsky, who was in fact Russian-born) and German (proceeding from the "New Objectivity" of Ferruccio Busoni, who was actually Italian, and represented by Paul Hindemith). Neoclassicism was an aesthetic trend rather than an organized movement; even many composers not usually thought of as "neoclassicists" absorbed elements of the style.

Paul Dukas

Paul Abraham Dukas (French: [dykas]; 1 October 1865 – 17 May 1935) was a French composer, critic, scholar and teacher. A studious man, of retiring personality, he was intensely self-critical, and he abandoned and destroyed many of his compositions. His best known work is the orchestral piece The Sorcerer's Apprentice (L'apprenti sorcier), the fame of which has eclipsed that of his other surviving works. Among these are the opera Ariane et Barbe-bleue, a symphony, two substantial works for solo piano, and a ballet, La Péri.

At a time when French musicians were divided into conservative and progressive factions, Dukas adhered to neither but retained the admiration of both. His compositions were influenced by composers including Beethoven, Berlioz, Franck, d'Indy and Debussy.

In tandem with his composing career, Dukas worked as a music critic, contributing regular reviews to at least five French journals. Later in his life he was appointed professor of composition at the Conservatoire de Paris and the École Normale de Musique; his pupils included Maurice Duruflé, Olivier Messiaen, Manuel Ponce, and Joaquín Rodrigo.

Philip Lane (composer)

Philip Lane (born 1950) is an English composer and musicologist. He is noted for his light music compositions and arrangements, as well as his painstaking work reconstructing lost film scores.

Society for the Promotion of New Music

The Society for the Promotion of New Music (SPNM), originally named The Committee for the Promotion of New Music, was founded January 1943 in London by Francis Chagrin, to promote the creation and performance of new music by young and unestablished composers. Since 1993 it had awarded the annual Butterworth Prize for Composition. In 2008, it merged with three other networks to form Sound and Music.

The Dalek Invasion of Earth

The Dalek Invasion of Earth is the second serial of the second season in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which originally aired in six weekly parts from 21 November to 26 December 1964. It was the second appearance of the Daleks and thus the first time an enemy re-appeared.

The serial is set on the Earth in the 22nd century, where the Daleks occupy the planet following a meteorite strike and a deadly plague. In the serial, the First Doctor (William Hartnell), his granddaughter Susan Foreman (Carole Ann Ford), and teachers Ian Chesterton (William Russell) and Barbara Wright (Jacqueline Hill) work with a human resistance group to travel to a Bedfordshire mine to stop the Daleks from mining out the Earth's core as part of their plan to pilot the Earth through space.

This serial marks the final regular appearance of Carole Ann Ford as companion Susan.

The Intruder (1953 film)

The Intruder is a 1953 British drama film directed by Guy Hamilton and starring Jack Hawkins, George Cole, Dennis Price and Michael Medwin. The film is based on the 1949 novel by Robin Maugham called The Line on Ginger.

Post-war London is the backdrop including Belgravia, Covent Garden market, Loughborough Junction and Dulwich Hospital.

A contemporary critic commented that the film treated the subject "with intelligence, taste, and a feeling for the medium"; he also wrote "Medwin... gives a brilliant study of a good fellow gone wrong".

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