15 17 Oct '24

George Fenton

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WSAcademy: WSA Honorary Member

Best known for his work in film and television, George Fenton is one of the UK’s most successful composers, writing scores for over 100 films and dozens of plays and TV programmes. He has been recognised with numerous awards: 5 Oscar nominations, multiple Ivor Novello, BAFTA, Golden Globe, Emmy and BMI wins, a Classical Brit, The Nina Rota Award at Venice and a World Soundtrack Lifetime Achievement Award.

He was first nominated for an Academy Award in 1982 with Ravi Shankar for the score to Richard Attenborough’s biopic Gandhi. He then went on to score another 4 films for Attenborough including ‘Cry Freedom’ and ‘Shadowlands’. He has also enjoyed long collaborations with Stephen Frears, Andy Tennant and notably Ken Loach for whom he has scored18 films including his latest - ‘Sorry We Missed You’ which was in competition at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.

In 1990 George composed the score for the BBC Natural History series, ‘Trials of Life’, which was the start of a relationship with the BBC that culminated in the original BBC Earth Trilogy: ‘The Blue Planet’, ‘Planet Earth’ and ‘Frozen Planet’.

Fenton won an Ivor Novello, BAFTA and Emmy Award for Best Television Score for ‘The Blue Planet’ and in October 2001 he created ‘The Blue Planet in Concert’, which premiered at the Royal Festival Hall, London. Fenton was then asked to create ‘Planet Earth in Concert’ and then ‘Frozen Planet in Concert’ completed the trilogy. These shows have played all over the world including LA’s Hollywood Bowl, The Sydney Opera House, London’s Royal Festival Hall and Wembley Arena. ‘The Blue Planet’ and ‘Planet Earth’ became feature films.

Other films include ‘Dangerous Liaisons’, ‘The Fisher King’, ‘Groundhog Day’, ‘You’ve Got Mail’, ‘Sweet Home Alabama’, ‘Hitch’, ‘The Wind That Shakes The Barley’, ‘I Daniel Blake’, ‘The Lady In the Van’. Most recent films include ‘Cold Pursuit’ (2019), ‘Sorry We Missed You’ (2019), ‘The Secret:Dare To Dream’ (2020), ‘The United Way’ (2021), ‘The Duke’ (2022), ‘Elizabeth: A Portrait In Parts’ (2022) and the forthcoming ‘Alleluhah’.

Recent work in the theatre includes ‘Bach & Sons’, ‘Talking Heads’, ‘Beat The Devil’ and ‘Straight Line Crazy’ at London’s Bridge Theatre: Alan Bennett’s play, ‘Allelujah!’ and ‘Untold Stories’, also written with Bennett, which includes the string quartet, ‘Hymn’. George is one of just 18 songwriters and composers to have been made a Fellow ofthe Ivors Academy (formally BASCA). He lives in London.



Lifetime Achievement Award 2015

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