Patrick Gowers

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William Patrick Gowers (5 May 1936 – 30 December 2014) was an English composer mainly known for his film scores.

He taught composition part-time at Cambridge while completing his doctorate. He served as assistant conductor of Bill Russo’s London Jazz Orchestra. In the mid-60s he was music director of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Marat/Sade productions in the West End and in New York. Then he began scoring feature and documentary films.[1] In the 1970s, he directed the electronic music studio at Dartington[2] and played keyboards for the New Swingle Singers.[3]

Gowers started writing for television later in the 1970s. In 1982 he won the BAFTA original music award for his scores for Smiley’s People, The Woman in White and I Remember Nelson.[1]

Film music[edit]

Gowers' works included the following music scores: Comic Act (1998), Forever Green (1989), The Hound of the Baskervilles (1988), The Sign of Four (1987), Whoops Apocalypse (1986), Anna Karenina (1985), Smiley's People (1982), I remember Nelson (1982), Therese Raquin (1980), Stevie (1978), Children of Rage (1975), A Bigger Splash (1974), Farlige kys (1972), The Boy Who Turned Yellow (1972), Giv Gud en Chance Om Soendagen (1970), The Virgin and the Gypsy (1970), Balladen om Carl-Henning (1969), Hamlet (1969), Thomas er Fredloes (1968), Marat / Sade (1966).[4]

His concert music included works written for the guitarist John Williams: Chamber Concerto for Guitar and Rhapsody for Guitar, Electric Guitars and Electric Organ. He did research work on Erik Satie (Eric Satie: his studies, notebooks and critics, Ph. D., Cambridge Univ., 1965).

Choral and Organ Music[edit]

Gowers was also noted for his choral music, including a setting of the text Veni Sancte Spiritus and the much-performed Viri Galilaei. He had also written a Cantata and several other anthems. He was also well known for his "Toccata" for organ, commissioned by Simon Preston and joined over a decade later by a fugue, as well as for his "Occasional Trumpet Voluntary".[1]

Music for Television[edit]

Patrick Gowers composed the music to The Adventures of, The Return of, the Casebook of and the Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes starring Jeremy Brett. The series ran from 1984 to 1994, and the soundtrack was released in 1987.

Amongst other TV series for which he composed the music are Thérese Raquin, I Remember Nelson, Smiley's People (the soundtrack for which was released by BBC Records, REP 439) and Forever Green.

Personal Life[edit]

He was the great-grandson of the eminent neurologist Sir William Richard Gowers, grandson of civil servant and writer Sir Ernest Gowers. He married Caroline Maurice in 1961 and became the father of the mathematician Sir Timothy Gowers, the writer Rebecca Gowers and the violinist Katharine Gowers.

He died on 30 December 2014.[5]


  1. ^ a b c "Veni, Sancte Spiritus - Choral and Organ music of Patrick Gowers". Lammas Records. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  2. ^ "Music: correspondence, memoranda and reports". Dartington Archives. 1975. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  3. ^ "Swingle Singers Discography". Jazz History Online. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  4. ^ "Patrick Gowers Filmography". New York Times. 2010. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  5. ^ "A fine English film composer has died". Slipped Disc. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 

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