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Anne Dudley
 
 
Anne Dudley was born Anne Jennifer Beckingham in Chatham, Kent on 7th May 1956 and is the sister of musician Bobby Valentino. As a child, she learnt to play the piano after her parents purchased one to fill up an empty wall in their home. Later on she studied for three years at the Royal College of Music where she achieved a Performer’s Diploma and was awarded the B. Mus prize for having the highest marks of her year.  Anne then went on to spend a year at King’s College where she was awarded a Masters Degree. During her time studying music she used to play in jazz and pop bands at night. It was playing in one of those bands that she met her husband, Roger and future record producer Trevor Horn of whom she would have a long-term professional relationship. The young musician was interested in all forms of music and why certain records would sound different from others, an interest that would become essential in her career.

Anne's first break in music came at the age of twenty one when she became the pianist on the long running BBC children’s television Playschool. In the early 1980s she was signed upto Amphonic Music to compose music for their Sound Stage music library series of albums that were made for stage productions as well as composing various jingles. As part of Horn’s production team she worked as an arranger on various pop records for the likes of Dollar, and working on the classic album The Lexicon Of Love by ABC along with sound engineer Gary Langan and Fairlight, C.M.I. programmer JJ Jeczalik. After arranging the brass on Wham!’s first hit Young Guns (Go For It), Anne got involved in the making of the late Malcolm McLaren’s groundbreaking album Duck Rock, co-writing the hits Buffalo Gals and Duck For The Oyster.
 
Shortly after that release she was credited on the sleeve of the hit Past, Present And Future by Cindy & The Saffrons before getting involved with a side project created by Langan & Jeczalik called the Art of Noise who had signed to Horn’s ZTT label in 1983. Her involvement within the group would go onto catapult her career to a new level by making her one the most respected, sought after musicians, arrangers and composers in the music industry. Anne also worked with Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Paul McCartney, George Michael, Blancmange, Lloyd Cole and The Commotions along with writing for Five Star, Helen Terry before going onto work with even more diverse artists including A-Ha, Electronic, Johnny Hates Jazz, Tom Jones, Moody Blues, Liza Minnelli and Kenny Rodgers. In 1987 as part of Art of Noise, she & Jeczalik scored the music for the film Disorderlies and provided the theme tune to blockbuster Dragnet. After that Anne began to branch out a solo career as a film composer starting with the film Hiding Out before achieved great success with the British movie Buster. Her work on that movie led her producing the number one hit single A Groovy Kind Of Love by the star of the film, Phil Collins, which was taken from the Brit Award winning Buster – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack album. In the following year she scored more music for another four films, Wilt; The Mighty Quinn; Silence Like Glass and Say Anything…

In 1990 after Art of Noise disbanded, Anne teamed up for a one-off collaboration with ex-Killing Joke member Jaz Coleman to record an album entitled Songs From The Victorious City. The long player was recorded in Cairo and London. In total three singles were released from it, Minarets And Memories; Habebe and Ziggarats Of Cinnamon. The album was a mixture of Egyptian and Western classical style music featuring musicians from Cairo, although in some parts sounding a little like Art of Noise, it has it’s own unique style, that would later be sampled by Enigma. In the same year she composed the score for the film The Pope Must Die before composing for the television shows Rory Bremner; Jeeves & Wooster and provided a new arrangement for the theme music of The Krypton Factor. Her first major role as a conductor happened when she was asked to conduct the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra during the Tribute to John Lennon concert.
 
The early 1990s saw Anne working with Horn on Marc Almond’s Tenement Symphony and Seal’s debut album. Throughout that decade her arrangement & production skills were required by a variety of artists including Oleta Adams, Cathy Dennis, Cher, Suggs, David Gilmour, Debbie Harry, k.d. Lang, Moloko, Scarlet, Rod Stewart, TMN, OMD, Pet Shop Boys, Luciana, Seal, S-Club 7, Spice Girls, Annie Lennox, Rick Astley and Tom Jones. She went on to have more success with scores for cinema and television including Knight Moves; The Crying Game; Anna Lee; Kavenagh Q.C.; Felidae; When Saturday Comes; The Sadness Of Sex; Hollow Reed; Gentlemen Don’t Eat Poets before winning an Oscar for her score to the hit British movie The Full Monty in 1997. Towards the end of the decade, she reformed the Art of Noise with Horn, Paul Morley & new comer Lol Creme for the album The Seduction Of Claude Debussy, before scorring the music for a further two films American History X and Pushing Tin.

The 2000s saw her continue in the field of film & television, providing music for The Miracle; Maker; The Tenth Kingdom; Monkeybone; Lucky Break; A Man Apart and Tristan & Isolde. In 2001 Anne recorded A Different Light, her first album since Ancient And Modern in 1995. Unlike its predecessor that contained choral music with modern classical styles, this new long player saw Anne re-work some of her best compositions including an orchestral arrangement of the classic Art of Noise track Moments In Love. The following year she was made the first Composer-in-Association with the BBC Concert Orchestra which led to her releasing the album Seriously Chilled containing modern chill out & pop music originally recorded by the likes of Moby, Enigma, Deep Forest and Robert Miles to name but a few. The music was re-arranged into classical arrangements in the form of medleys giving a whole new twist to popular chill out music.
 
The Royal College Of Music awarded Anne with a prestigious Fellowship in recognition of her outstanding career in 2004 and in that year was part of the house-band for the Prince’s Trust Concert celebrating 25 years of Trevor Horn’s career as a record producer. In 2006 the BBC made a three part radio series about her entitled Close (To The Edit), documenting the story of her career as a musician, arranger, composer and producer. The series featured interviews with Anne herself with contributions from Horn, Tom Jones, Stephen Fry and Martin Fry. In the same year, the Dutch film director Paul Verhoeven chose Anne to compose the music for his wartime feature film Black Book. The director was so impressed by her ability to be able to change her styles of music for whatever film score she did, that he knew she was the perfect composer for his film.

Continuing her work as an arranger, composer, producer, Anne also worked with Will Young, Alison Moyet and Robbie Williams on their albums. She also collaborated with Stephen Fry on a pantomime, after working with him on Bright Young Things. On the 24th and 26th February 2007 Anne conducted the BBC Concert Orchestra when she teamed up with comedian, actor, musician Bill Bailey, this lead and developed into Bill Bailey’s Remarkable Guide To The Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall and at the Brighton Dome in 2008. Earlier that year, Anne scored the music for the television series Trial And Retribution as well as composing the music for the BBC-i Player film about flying penguins that was broadcast on April Fool’s Day. Towards the end of the year Anne was involved with the BBC’s Electric Proms season. Returning once again to the Royal Albert Hall, Anne conducted the BBC Concert Orchestra in April 2009 when ABC performed their classic The Lexicon Of Love album and again 2012.
 
The 2010s have so far seen Anne arrange music for albums by Seth She, 2 Birdy, Olly Murs, Sharleen Spiteri, Nelly Furtado and Seal. For television she has scored the music for the series Above Suspicion; The Commander and George Gently.

In April 2011 Anne was commissioned by the Royal Opera House to compose an opera for their OperaShots series at Linbury Theatre. She teamed up with former Monty Python member Terry Jones for the opera The Doctor’s Tale that also featured a piece by ex-Police drummer Stewart Copeland. In June of that year she composed a fanfare for massed brass players by the South Bank Centre for the beginning of the Light Fantastic weekend. Brass On The Bridges was created for four brass bands on the Hungerford Bridge and the gallery of the Festival Hall with a mass band on the terrace of the river. The following month she received an honorary doctorate from the University of Kent.

2012 proved to be a busy year for Anne, she has once again teamed up with Terry Jones for The Owl And The Pussycat based upon the work of Edward Lear. It is part of Secrets - Hidden London 2012, a series of free events taking place throughout London, promoted by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson. They are working together with the Royal Opera House to stage a “floating opera” on London’s canals. Anne is participating in the Thames Pageant for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee where she has composed a piece influenced by Handel’s Water Music that was performed on a barge travelling down the River Thames. For the cinema she is working as the musical director on the film Les Misérables starring Hugh Jackman, Russel Crowe and Anne Hathaway.
 
Having proved to be one of the most talented artists of the past thirty years, whether it is playing session keyboards, arranging strings, breaking the traditional rules of music, conducting orchestras, composing film & television scores or writing an opera, one thing is for sure, Anne Dudley is one of the very few musicians who understands the form of any genre of music and bring it to life.
 
© Copyright K.M. Whitehouse 2008, 2012
 
 

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