UK composer dies within month of his wife

UK composer dies within month of his wife


norman lebrecht

April 30, 2021

The director Gerard McBurney has reported the death of composer Anthony Payne, whose wife Jane Manning died exactly a month ago.

We have no further details as yet.

Payne, who was 84, is best known for accepting a BBC commission to complete the third symphony of Edward Elgar. He wrote two books, on Arnold Schoenberg and Frank Bridge.


  • Rob Keeley says:

    This couldn’t be sadder news. A lovely , friendly man and a damn good composer in his own right. RIP Tony.

  • Rob Keeley says:

    An original piece by Anthony Payne:

  • Herbie G says:

    How very sad, losing two great musicians in such a short time. I am usually cynical about those who discover 30 bars of music written in a tremulous hand on a fag packet discarded by a composer moments before being summoned skyward as a harpist in the cloud-based celestial ensemble, and then put together a complete 50-minute symphony representing it as his valediction to mankind. But in some cases, conjectural works based on sketches do sound convincing and even genuine. I would suggest that Deryck Cooke’s completions of Mahler’s Tenth Symphony count as such.
    Anthony Payne’s work on the pile of sketches that Elgar left behind for his Third Symphony is another such case. I believe he was too modest to call this work Elgar’s Third Symphony, preferring to call it Sketches for Symphony No. 3. This was a sustained labour of love and I think the result is astounding through his mastery of Elgar’s style and orchestral technique – so much so that it has entered the repertoire.

    Rest in peace.

  • microview says:

    I think at one time he was regularly reviewing for The Telegraph. Never got on with that Elgar 3 but many are devoted to it.

  • Very sad news indeed. According to an email from Jane Manning earlier this year, Tony was engaged on a new orchestral work, so history might sadly be repeating itself with another incomplete one. He and Jane will indeed be very much missed.

  • David Ward says:

    Tony and Jane will both be very sorely missed. They were such wonderful, warm and hospitable people. In the 1960s/70s I paid numerous visits to their house in London for long chats about musical and other matters (life itself!). They had both been invited to a lunch party which cellist Ross Pople gave for my birthday in the Chelsea Arts Club in February last year, but neither was able to come for medical reasons, so we missed much potential catching up. RIP

  • Anthony Sanderson says:

    He also completed the Pomp and Circumstance March No. 6.

    It would be a good opportunity to revisit his completion of Elgar’s Third. As Herbie G remarked Deryck Cooke’s completion of Mahler 10 is so good, it had now entered the repertoire.

    However, after an initial flurry of activity, Elgar’s Third realised by Anthony Payne hasn’t. I think it was Michael Kennedy who remarked it was too long.

    Maybe it needs a deft hand to take a second look and see if Payne’s work can be improved to make it more focussed.

    I thought it worth discussing.

  • fflambeau says:

    Anthony Payne looks like Wagner.