Brian R Knowles
Brian Knowles, born in Belfast, was educated at the Liverpool Blue Coat School and began composing at the age of 10. He studied composition under John Gardner at the Royal Academy of Music and in 1970 formed the band ‘Saffron’ which was signed by EMI shortly afterwards. Brian became touring Director of Music for singer, songwriter Roger Whittaker until 1988 when he was appointed to the Music Department and later Composer in Residence, at the Royal Naval School in Haslemere (now the Royal School).
He has written two musicals including ‘Jane Eyre’ and his setting of ‘God Save the Queen’ (Jubilee Tribute) was performed in the presence HM the Queen, Prince Charles and the Prime Minister at the Royal British Legion’s ‘Festival of Remembrance’ at the Royal Albert Hall in 2002 and was broadcast worldwide. It now has been renamed ‘Diamond Jubilee Tribute’ and is the title track on the Royal Marines ‘Diamond Jubilee’ CD released in April 2012.
In recent years Brian has set fifty famous poems to music, eighteen of which have been released on a Signum Classics CD entitled ‘Poetry Serenade’. This includes the well‐known anonymous poem ‘Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep’ and the famous First World War poem by John McCrae ‘In Flanders Fields’ from which the poppy emblem is largely derived. In December 2010 his setting of the carol ‘We Three Kings’ was performed live on ITV’s Alan Titchmarsh Show.
He has recently composed a Guitar Concerto, dedicated to his son Stephen. James Morgan, the conductor, arranger and record producer introduced it to Craig Ogden at the Classic Brit Awards. In May 2014 Craig performed the premiere of the concerto with the Epsom Symphony Orchestra at the Epsom Playhouse, where it received a prolonged and enthusiastic applause from a full house. Music by Brian R Knowles