Much recorded UK conductor turns 90 – in a ‘copter

Much recorded UK conductor turns 90 – in a ‘copter


norman lebrecht

August 06, 2015

Kenneth Alwyn, a formative conductor at Covent Garden and Sadlers Wells, landed on a golf course in a helicopter to celebrate his latest decade. Report here.

kenneth alwyn

photo: Derek Martin

He is one of the most recorded conductors of film music, and has also left accounts of much neglected English music.



  • Wurtfangler says:

    He has just published the first volume of his memoirs – an at times very poignant story of the early deaths of his parents, but also a highly entertaining account of growing up before the 2nd World War and the early post-war musical life of the country. I can’t recommend it highly enough!!books/c1j4z

  • NYMike says:

    Traveled with him on a Mantovani tour taking in most of the US, as well as Japan and Taiwan. Fine musician and easy to work with.

  • Kathleen Elsie Crees says:

    I finished my musical training at Trinity College of Music, London and was invited to audition on pianoforte with English Conductor Kenneth Alwyn for the position of performance pianist and playing for class with the Western Theatre Ballet ballet company on a three month tour of the provinces.
    I turned up for the audition with one of the scores- Carnival by Schumann that I had only had a chance to put some fingering in on a train journey to Oxford the previous day. I didn’t know the work and had only had time to go over the first two pages but I was a good sight reader!
    I thought that Kenneth was a very nice man and I ended up sightreading the entire work to him including the Paganini Variation that initially I wasn’t keen to do but it all pleased him and he gave me the job. I have some amusing memories of that tour and wonderful people in that company.

  • Steve Shrewsbury tel:07561159120 says:

    I don`t know if you can help, but I am trying to contact ken Alwyn. Apart from his musical career, he was a flying instructor at Shoreham Airport. My name is Steve Shrewsbury and I was also a flying instructor and we worked together at Southern Air. If you could pass on my details to Ken as I would like to catch up and also find out if Thoone Ghose is still alive{Another flying instructor}.
    I would very much appreciate if you could help in my quest.

    Yours sincerely

    Steve Shrewsbury

  • Kathleen Elsie Crees says:

    Thank you Steve Shrewsbury for your email which was forwarded to me by the website.
    I would suggest that you could contact any of the following: the UK Musician’s Union, BBC Music Dept. London, Royal Festival Hall Management or Sadler’s Wells Theatre Management etc. Any of these organisations would probably be able to help you to contact Kenneth.
    There is a photograph of him online by AA Publishing and they published his biography in January 2015. They say that he lives in West Chiltington and their publication is”AAA all about Horsham Magazine tel. 01403 878026 and online: EDITOR @ AAHORSHAM.CO.UK” All in capitals it appears.Perhaps it would be a good idea to try the publishers first. The council in Horsham may also be able to help if all else fails!
    I suggest that when you find someone who has his address that you arrange to send a communication that they can send onto Kenneth Alwyn as they may not be willing to release his private details. Happy Hunting!
    Yours sincerely
    Kathleen E Crees