John Scott has an established reputation
both in Europe and America as one of the most versatile composers
on the international scene. John was born in the historic city of
Bristol in the west of England. His father was a capable musician
and gave him his first lessons on the violin and clarinet when he
was six years old. At the age of thirteen he moved to London with
his mother and took a job as an apprentice repairman in a musical
instrument shop. His ambition to become a professional clarinetist.
However, his job did not afford him the time to practice so he applied
to the Royal Artillery Band (Woolwich) and after he reached the age
of 14 was accepted for training. He received a firm grounding in the
fundamentals of performing on the clarinet and the harp. The Royal
Artillery was renowned for its military band but its symphony orchestra
was rated as the finest military orchestra in the world. Its musicians
were readily recruited into the leading British symphony orchestras.
During his army service John came under the influence
of jazz and took up the alto saxophone. On leaving the army he soon
gained employment with touring bands building a reputation which led
to him being hired by Ted Heath. It was with the famous Ted Heath
Band that he started arranging music for broadcasts and recording.
In the 1960s as a performing musician he had an international
reputation playing flute and saxophone for The Woody Herman Band,
the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the
Julian Bream Consort, the Beatles, Ravi Shankar, Henry Mancini, Nelson
Riddle, John Dankworth and Cleo Lane. As a top session musician he
became the saxophone sound in the James Bond movies and the flute
sound on the Beatles recordings.
The thrill of performing on film scores with such
composers as Mancini led John to want to compose music for films.
He started knocking on doors and was eventually accepted as an arranger
by George Martin and Ron Richards for EMI records. This afforded invaluable
experience in handling all kinds of orchestras. Finally some documentary
films led to his first feature film A STUDY IN TERROR.
Since then he has written numerous scores for international
feature films such as Antony and Cleopatra, The Shooting Party, North
Dallas Forty, Greystoke - the Legend of Tarzan, also major television
dramas and series such as Mountbatten - the Last Viceroy and documentaries
such as those for Jacques Cousteau. He has won numerous awards including
3 Emmy Awards.
John's film music is well known throughout the world
but his concert music is less well known. This is unfortunate but
understandable. He has composed string quartets, a flute quintet,
a horn trio, various chamber works, ballets, a concerto for guitar
and orchestra, a saxophone concerto and a symphony. He stresses that
it has been absolutely necessary to stretch himself in order to stay
fresh and vital. At the moment he is working on an opera and a newly
commissioned string quartet for the renowned Delme Quartet.
John's conducting career is also worth mentioning.
He has conducted the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Symphony
Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Philharmonia Orchestra
- all world class orchestras. He has also conducted concert performances
of his works with several of Europe's leading orchestras, including
the Munich Symphony Orchestra, the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,
the Budapest Opera Orchestra, the Lubliana Radio Orchestra and the
In the United States he has recently been appointed
conductor of the Hollywood Symphony Orchestra with which he has just
completed a new compact disc recording of his first feature film score
A STUDY IN TERROR.