English composer, arranger, pianist and trombonist Gordon Langford was born in Edgware on 11 May 1930 as Gordon Maris Colman. He took piano lessons from the age of five, and at nine received a public performance of music he'd written. He won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music in London, studying piano and composition with Norman Demuth.
For many years he played piano on ships, worked with seaside orchestras and with a touring opera company. His later career consisted mainly of composing, but sometimes he was featured in concerts, broadcasts and recordings.
He was best known as a brass band composer and arranger, and two test pieces, Facets of Glass and Rhapsody for trombone, are well known. The March from his Colour Suite won an Ivor Novello Award for best light music composition in 1971.
His arrangements include those of music by Jerry Goldsmith, Henry Mancini and John Williams. He orchestrated film scores for Hollywood, including Clash of the Titans, The First Great Train Robbery, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Return to Oz and Superman II. He produced choral arrangements for The King's Singers, and music for the theatre for, for example, The Crooked Mile and The House of Cards.
He had a special relationship with the BBC, first broadcasting as a solo pianist in 1951, with the Royal Artillery Band, during his army service. Some of his compositions and arrangements were used as TV test card music during the 1960s and 70s, and he wrote and arranged music for various BBC programmes.
Gordon Langford died at his home in Seaton, East Devon, on 18 April 2017, aged eighty-six.
A selection of M&V articles about Gordon Langford
CD Spotlight. Lively and Entertaining - A portrait of Antony Hopkins, heard by Patric Standford. '... a warm and generous tribute ...'
CD Spotlight. Gallic Sheen - Christmas choral music from Arsys Bourgogne, heard by Keith Bramich. '... a well-recommended stocking-filler ...'