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Christopher Palmer
(9 September 1946 - 22 January 1995) U.K.

Christopher Palmer

Composer

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Christopher Francis Palmer was born in Norfolk in 1946. He early showed interest in music, encouraged by his father, a RAF pilot, who had trained as a church organist. He was educated at Norwich School and studied the organ at Saxlingham, then went on to the University of Cambridge, where he qualified in modern languages and music.

He was a composer, arranger and orchestrator; biographer of composers, champion of lesser-known composers and writer on film music and other musical subjects; record producer; and lecturer. He was involved in a very wide range of projects and his output was prodigious.

His first involvement in film music was as a writer, and through this he met many film composers in the United Kingdom and the United States. He struck up a friendship with Bernard Herrmann, who was living in London at the time. He assisted Herrmann with his scoring for Taxi Driver and Obsession (both released in 1976; Herrmann died in December 1975, just after completing the score to Taxi Driver).

He came to be regarded as one of the finest symphonic orchestrators of his generation. He was dedicated to the conservation, recording and promotion of classic film scores by several composers. He wrote full biographies of composers, as well as sleeve notes, radio scripts, reviews and articles.

Through Herrmann, Palmer had met Charles Gerhardt, with whom he collaborated on at least 15 albums. Miklós Rózsa was impressed by Palmer's critiques of his work, and invited him to orchestrate part of his score for the film Last Embrace (1979). He then met Elmer Bernstein, who used Palmer's assistance in scoring Heavy Metal (1981). This led to further orchestration work with film composers such as Maurice Jarre, and many others.

He collaborated with Sergei Prokofiev's son Oleg Prokofiev on the publication of Serge Prokofiev, Soviet Diary, 1927 and other writings (Faber and Faber, 1991). His planned biography of Prokofiev was left unfinished at his death, which was due to an HIV/AIDS-related illness, when he was aged only 48.

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Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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