Graham Dalby, Conductor, Composer, – Famous OD’s Profile.
Graham Dalby S71 – 76, Born 2nd December 1957.
Graham was commissioned in #TheRoyalHongKongPolice in 1977. He made his professional debut as a singer there as Christus in The Bach St Matthew Passion with the #HongKongPhilharmonicOrchestra in a live broadcast by RTHK on Easter Day 1978.
He returned to London in 1980 to study singing and conducting at #TrinityCollegeofMusic. During this time Dalby formed The Student Singers and Orchestra and gave many large-scale choral concerts around London including Mozart Requiem, Beethoven Mass in C and Haydn’s Oratorio ‘The Creation’ with BBC’s Brian Kay singing the bass solo.
In 1984 Graham conducted a large-scale gala concert at #TheRoyalAlbertHall of works by Elgar, Richard Strauss and Tchaikovsky in aid of World Wildlife Fund.
In 1985 Graham joined two professional music groups. The first, Nexus Opera toured Britten’s opera Curlew River including a televised broadcast from Wells Cathedral for the Bath Festival and a #BBC #Radio3 broadcast live from The Royal Albert Hall Proms. The second, Martin Best Medieval Ensemble, recorded Cantigas de Santa Maria for Nimbus Records and toured festivals in Britain including Salisbury Cathedral and St Alban’s Abbey.
That same year he was invited to perform as soloist with Serge Baudot and The Orchestre de Lyons in a broadcast (France Musique) performance of d’orchestration et d’instrumentation for The Berlioz Festival at the Lyons Opera.
From 1995 – 2005 Dalby was a member of several professional singing groups and recorded many BBC and film sessions such as Hans Zimmer’s Crimson Tide and The Peacemaker, Evita with Madonna and even The Muppet Treasure Island. He recorded more than one hundred and fifty sessions with The Ambrosian Opera Chorus of recordings as varied as Kiss Me Kate for #EMI to Semiramide with I Solisti Veneti for Erato Records.
The movie, A Handful ofDust, starring Alec Guinness and based on novel by Evelyn Waugh featured a scene with Graham Dalby at The Cafe de Paris playing his composition Sooner Be A Crooner. This was over-written by George Fenton’s orchestral score although the visual scene survives.
In 1995 Graham and his Orchestra were commissioned to record a comprehensive series of Ballroom Dance albums at #AbbeyRoadstudios . Some fourteen albums (including compilations) were recorded on the Let’s Dance series ranging from Foxtrot to Jive and even Spanish Paso Doble.
They were distributed by BMG and many are still available worldwide e.g. Let’s Dance The Jive cat no. LTD102711. The three album set Dancing Neath The Stars issued in 2005 was released without Graham’s knowledge or approval.
In 1994 Graham wrote and presented What Ho! Wodehouse, a musical biopic, for BBC #Radio2 The Arts Programme during which Dalby interviewed the Heritage Secretary Iain Sproat (author of Wodehouse at War d.2011) and proved, probably for the first time ever on air, that the accusations against the author P.G. Wodehouse on the grounds of collaboration and treason during #WWII were spurious and that Wodehouse had no case to answer. This was subsequently toured live around British theatres including The Symphony Hall, Birmingham.
In 1998 Graham wrote and produced The Story of Chartley an elaborate son et lumiere of 2,000 years of history which was narrated by the #BBCWorldService presenter John Touhey and commissioned by the Sheriff of Staffordshire David Johnson, the script, edited, is now published by the Staffordshire Tourist Board.
In 1997 Graham Dalby recorded at Abbey Road Studio, The Great Legends of Jazz and Swing for EMI Records and performed the last number by a British Dance Band in British Hong Kong at 11:45 on The Peak on 30 June 1997. It was Mad Dogs and Englishmen. The album was re-issued in 1999 as Swing Classics on EMI. Hereafter the Orchestra underwent a re-branding and operated under the new name of #LondonSwingOrchestra.
In 2000 Graham and his orchestra were asked to play for H.M. Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother’s 100th Birthday at Windsor Castle having already performed at Buckingham Palace in 1990 and later featured in a BBC documentary The Queen Mum and Me shown on #BBC1 during the Laying in of State of The Queen Mother in 2002.
In 2004 Graham formed a large orchestra and chorus renamed The Esterhazy Orchestra for the 500th Anniversary of The Royal Warrant Holders Association in which he programmed and conducted an elaborate performance of five hundred years or Royal patronage through music.
In 2006 Graham recorded (at EMI Olympia Studios) a debut album with the Esterhazy Orchestra for the eleven-year-old soprano Emilia – his daughter – then a chorister at #SalisburyCathedral – for Signum Records.
In 2012 Graham, to mark twenty five years of recording, compiled and re-recorded an Anthology of Swing Music with The London Swing Orchestra of four albums of music from 1920 – 1965 in association with Upbeat Recordings.
In 2015 Graham received an invitation from Princess Caroline of Hannover to bring his London Swing Orchestra to Monte Carlo to play for the wedding party of Pierre Casiraghi and Beatrice Borromeo.
In 2018 the orchestra returned to play at the Bal de La Rose organised by Princess Caroline and Karl Lagerfeld. They performed with the blues legend Taj Mahal.
In 2019 Graham and his orchestra performed for both the Bal Polski and the Austrian Ball.
Graham Dalby now conducts a number of choral societies in the West of England including Bradford on Avon and Trowbridge where he gives regular concerts.