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Stephen Dodgson (1924–2013)

Stephen DodgsonStephen Dodgson was born in Chelsea and, after education at Stowe and service in the Royal Navy in the Second World War, lived and worked in London for the remainder of his life. Following his war service he studied at the Royal College of Music, where he subsequently taught theory and composition for many years, having initially joined the Junior Department as an orchestral conductor. From 1957, he was often employed by the BBC to provide incidental music for many drama productions, as well as being a frequent and familiar broadcaster on musical topics.

Dodgson composed music in all the major genres, including a four-act opera Margaret Catchpole of 1979. In addition to a substantial body of orchestral scores, and many concertos with chamber orchestra, he wrote seven piano sonatas and nine string quartets. His large output of music for voices includes works for chorus, soloists and orchestra, a Magnificat and a Te Deum, and works for voices a cappella.

For many years Chairman of the National Youth Wind Orchestra, he wrote both for this and other wind ensembles, and arranged and composed for the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble. He also wrote with notable understanding for harpsichord and clavichord. His most enduring legacy, however, is his music for guitar, an interest initially inspired by Julian Bream, which resulted in two concertos and other concertante works, as well as much chamber music featuring the guitar as song accompanist and in a variety of instrumental combinations.

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