Guy Warrack


Guy Warrack was born in Edinburgh on Feb 8, 1900. He was a Scottish conductor and composer, and the father of John Warrack. He was educated at Oxford University, and at the RCM studied composition with Vaughan Williams and conducting with Boult. He made his conducting début at the Wigmore Hall, London, in 1925, and from 1925 to 1935 taught at the RCM. He was director of the newly founded BBC Scottish Orchestra (1936–45), then musical director of Sadler’s Wells Theatre Ballet (1948–51), where he conducted the premières of Harlequin in April, Selina and other ballets; he also orchestrated Fauré piano music and songs for Andrée Howard’s La fête étrange (Royal Ballet; Scottish Ballet).

Warrack composed scores for many documentary films including Theirs is the Glory (a reconstruction of the Battle of Arnhem), 1946; XIVth Olympiad, 1948; and A Queen is Crowned (the official coronation film), 1953; his other works include a symphony. He was the author of Sherlock Holmes and Music (1947) and wrote a history of the RCM.

He died in Englefield Green, Surrey on Feb 12, 1986.

Biography adapted from Grove Music Online