John Harle

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John Harle
Harle in 2001
Harle in 2001
Background information
Born (1956-09-20) 20 September 1956 (age 67)
OriginNewcastle upon Tyne, England
GenresHybrid, Pop, Classical
Occupation(s)Musician
Instrument(s)Saxophone
Years active1973–present
LabelsUniversal, EMI Classics, Decca, Argo, Unicorn-Kanchana, Hannibal, Sospiro
Websitewww.johnharle.com Edit this at Wikidata

John Harle (born 20 September 1956) is an English saxophonist, composer, educator and record producer.[1] He is an Ivor Novello Award winner and has been the recipient of two Royal Television Society awards.

Biography[edit]

Harle was born in Newcastle upon Tyne. Following his education at the Royal College of Music in London and, as a French Government Music Scholar, in Paris with Daniel Deffayet, he won the Amcon Award of The American Concert Artists Guild. In his early years, he was a member of the band of composer Michael Nyman and orchestrator for film composer Stanley Myers, expanding from that into scoring for film and television. In the 1990s, he began a career as saxophonist and composer, both artistically and commercially.

Harle composed the theme tune and music for the BBC TV series Silent Witness.[2] In May 1998, Harle was the castaway on BBC Radio 4's long-running Desert Island Discs programme, with the BBC describing him as "the most-recorded saxophonist in the world".[3]

Harle served as artistic advisor to Paul McCartney for six years, and has collaborated with Elvis Costello, Herbie Hancock and Elmer Bernstein.[citation needed]

In addition to his own prolific recording, Harle has contributed directly or indirectly to a number of charting songs and albums by others.[4] A jingle he wrote for Nissan in 1993 became the basis of a charting pop single by Jazzie B.[clarification needed] His album Terror and Magnificence (1996) featured Elvis Costello, Sarah Leonard and Andy Sheppard. He contributed to the charting album Standing Stone (1997) by Paul McCartney.[citation needed]

Harle has also been an educator, serving at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London in the late 1980s as a professor of Saxophone and Chamber Music.[4] He is currently Professor of Saxophone at the Guildhall School.[citation needed]

In 2012, the Royal Television Society awarded Harle its "Music: Original Score" award for his composition for BBC 2's programme Lucian Freud: Painted Life, describing it as "An excellent, challenging and original score that perfectly complements Freud's powerful imagery".[5] It also won the 2013 British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) Ivor Novello Award for "Best Television Soundtrack".[6]

In October 2013, on BBC Radio 3's In Tune programme, Harle talked about his recently released album Art Music, the composition of which was inspired by his favourite paintings.[7]

Harle appeared with Marc Almond on BBC Radio 4's Front Row in February 2014 to discuss their collaborative work about Gothic London, The Tyburn Tree (Dark London).[8] Harle was a guest on the same programme in November of that year, to mark the bicentenary of the birth of Adolphe Sax by assessing the contribution of Sax's invention, the saxophone.[9]

Harle has written a reference book, The Saxophone: The Art and Science of Playing and Performing, published in May 2017.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Harle has two sons: writer and curator Matthew Harle, and Mad Decent composer and producer Danny L Harle.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Gilbert, Jenny (2 March 1996). "Fantastic read". The Independent. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  2. ^ "John Harle & Marc Almond". Barbican. Archived from the original on 21 August 2016. Retrieved 16 October 2022.
  3. ^ "Desert Island Discs: John Harle". BBC Online. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  4. ^ a b Lewis, Uncle Dave. "Artist Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  5. ^ "RTS Announces Winners For Craft & Design Awards 2011/2012". Royal Television Society. 27 November 2012. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  6. ^ "2013 Winners". The Ivors. Archived from the original on 28 June 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  7. ^ "Matthew Barley, Brook Street Band, John Harle". BBC Online. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  8. ^ "Marc Almond and John Harle; Willy Russell on Liverpool's Everyman Theatre; Gary Shteyngart". BBC Online. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  9. ^ "Interstellar, Nick Hornby, John Harle, Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes". BBC Online. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  10. ^ Harle, John (1 May 2017). The Saxophone: The Art and Science of Playing and Performing. Faber and Faber. ISBN 978-0571539628.

External links[edit]