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LGBT History Month: Angela Morley

The MU is for all musicians. This LGBT History Month, we want to share stories of inspirational musicians. Here, we look at the life of award-winning composer and arranger Angela Morley.

In early 2009 the MU mourned the passing of the award-winning composer and arranger Angela Morley.

During her career she received nominations for BAFTA, Emmy, Oscar and Ivor Novello awards. Her many credits as a composer, arranger or conductor encompass a huge range of iconic TV shows including Dallas and Dynasty to film scores such as Watership Down, The Slipper and the Rose, The Little Prince, Schindler’s List, E.T and the original Star Wars Trilogy.

Prior to undergoing gender reassignment surgery in 1972, Angela (then known as Wally Stott) had been a member of the renowned Geraldo Orchestra in the 1940s before going on to work as an arranger for the BBC and then in 1953 becoming the musical director for the Phillips record label.

In the studio, she worked with pop luminaries such as Shirley Bassey and Dusty Springfield, whilst in radio she composed the music for Hancock’s Half Hour and was conductor for the Goon Show.

In later years Angela continued her long association with John Williams and in 2001 was asked to create a medley of the year’s five Academy Award nominated film scores for Itzhak Perlman & Yo Yo Ma to perform.

We can celebrate Angela in so many ways – as an incredible woman who showed great courage, and as a uniquely talented musician who played an important part in creating some of the most iconic pieces of music known the world over. Who doesn’t recognise the theme tune to Dallas? And with her work part of pop culture legend, she will continue to be part of our lives for years to come.


Published: 24/02/2015

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