It is with great sadness that the Orchestra has learned of the death of our President, the composer Anthony Payne. He was 84 and had lost is wife, the singer Jane Manning, only a month previously.
He is perhaps best-known for his astounding and highly successful realisation of the sketches for Elgar’s Third Symphony, though, as this obituary notes, his own compositional style was rather more overtly modern. Our connection with him stemmed very much from the Elgar: Adrian Brown was an early champion of the work, and BSO performed it in March 2006 (alongside his own Spring’s Shining Wake). Anthony and Jane were in the audience only last March when Adrian’s Elgar Sinfonia (which includes many BSO players) performed the Symphony in London – Anthony apparently mentioned how much he had enjoyed that performance only a few days before he died.
We were honoured that Anthony agreed to be our President and we will dedicate our Elgar Sea Pictures on 17 July to his memory. And we will plan a fitting memorial in due course, maybe involving a further performance of the Symphony and perhaps another one of his many works.