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Biography

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Overview (3)

Date of Birth 5 June 1908St. Pancras, London, England, UK
Date of Death 16 July 1990Eastbourne, Sussex, England, UK
Birth NameSidney Torchinsky

Mini Bio (1)

Leading composer-conductor of familiar orchestral music and a famed British organist. Born of Russian parents at 27 Tottenham Court in London, his father, Morris Torchinsky, was a professional trombonist and encouraged his son to excel. Sidney studied piano at the Blackheath Conservatoire, then became accompanist to violinist Albert Sandler and an organist at cinemas including the Regal, Marble Arch, Edmonton, the Regal Kingston, and finally the new Gaumont State in 1937, making many records, broadcasts and personal appearances. He joined the Royal Air Force as an air gunner in 1940 and was stationed near Blackpool where he continued to record at the Opera House. Subsequently he was commissioned as an RAF Squadron Leader and conducted the RAF Concert Orchestra where his talents for composing and orchestral arranging were honed. At about the time he composed the music for the BBC's radio series "Much Binding in the Marsh", he was discovered by production-music publishers as a source for quality mood-music compositions. From 1946 on, he contributed and conducted (with the Queen's Hall Light Orchestra ) many instrumental works for the Chappell's catalog under both his own name and the 'Denis Rycoth' pseudonym (an anagram). From 1947 to 1949, he also conducted the New Century Orchestra until a British Musicians' Union ban put an end to that collaboration. In 1953, the BBC's popular "Friday Night is Music Night" was launched, with Sidney Torch conducting the BB Concert Orchestra for nearly twenty years until his 1972 retirement. Before then he had conducted numerous celebrity concerts at such venues as the Royal Festival Hall in London and others. His personality has been described by some of his instrumentalists and choral singers as tyrannical, and in a rare 1983 interview he admitted to being "cruel" in his professional dealings but added that in his opinion the final results may have been beneficial and that those he targeted may have been the better for it. His light-orchestral works are still very-often heard today, and American audiences remember his music from movie trailers, especially from drive-in theatres.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Louis Rugani

Spouse (1)

Elizabeth Tyson (? - 1990) (her death)

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