Keith Beal

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Keith Beal
Birth nameKeith Francis Arnold Beal
Born (1933-12-22) 22 December 1933 (age 89)
OriginChalfont St. Peter, England

Keith Francis Arnold Beal is an English painter, sound engineer, recording engineer and producer, musician and composer, and author.

Early years[edit]

Born on 22 December 1933 in Chalfont St. Peter, Buckinghamshire, Beal grew up in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire. After the Second World War, he was sent to Sweden in 1948 to gain strength, staying there for the better part of a year. His formative years were spent in NW London, where he went to school, and in Hamstead, where he explored his interest in painting, which had been instigated in childhood by his painter father.


In 1955 Beal spent a year in Paris, aiming to develop his painting skills. On returning to England he found quick success, having an exhibition in a gallery in Bond Street and selling out on the day. Beal has remained actively interested in painting throughout his life. The Miguel de Cervantes novel Don Quixote has been a recurring inspiration for his paintings.

Sound engineer[edit]

Beal worked as a sound engineer and technician for the BBC, as well as commercial television, and freelance in the film business from 1956 to 1973.


Beal studied at the London School of Economics, gaining a BSc degree in Economics in 1971. He also studied at Sussex University, gaining an MA in Music and the Sonic Arts in 2013


On his fortieth birthday in 1973, he acquired a saxophone, and won a bet that he could learn to play it within a year. In 1974, he co-founded Ogun Records, a record label specialising in jazz and modern classical music.[1] Initially, he worked as a recording engineer and editor, but later became a producer, eventually leading the company as managing director. In his time at Ogun, Beal recorded and/or produced some 50 records by such artists as Trevor Watts, Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath, Elton Dean, Harry Becket, John Surman and Keith Tippett.[2] After leaving Ogun in 1980 Beal concentrated on playing the saxophone. He toured extensively with Trevor Watts Moiré Music, an avant garde jazz ensemble, playing at most of the European Jazz Festivals between 1982 and 1986.

Since 1987 Beal has divided his time between England and the Netherlands. Initially focusing on jazz, both as a performer and composer, he has increasingly moved towards modern classical composition. Early works include pieces for tuba quartet and saxophone quartet, but he became ever more confident and productive, writing 6 symphonies and 4 concertos, recording his Second Symphony in Kyiv with the Kyiv Modern Symphony Orchestra in 2001, and writing a clarinet concerto to be performed by Alan Hacker. He went on to compose two operas: Dulcinea was written on the 400th anniversary of the Miguel de Cervantes novel Don Quixote, on which the libretto is based, while Merlin has a libretto based on a compilation of myths around Le Morte d'Arthur characters Merlin and Nimue. He has also composed three ballets; the music of which has been played, but not yet danced.


In 2011 and 2012, Beal published two strongly autobiographical novels, entitled Counterpoint in Three Parts: Reflexions on the Life and Loves of a Musician' based on the experiences of a touring musician' [3] , and Cadmium Red', based on painting and politics in Paris of the 1950s'[4]


The following is an as yet incomplete overview of Beal's major compositions.


Title First performance
Symphony No 1, Easter Day, 4 Movements 1998
Symphony No 2, 5 Movements Kyiv, 1998
Symphony No 3, 4 Movements 1998
Symphony No 4, The Browns, 5 Movements 2000
Symphony No 5, 4 Movements 2000
Symphony No 6, 4 Movements 2002


Title First performance
Concerto for Cello 1995
Concerto for Piano, 1 Movement Switzerland
Concerto for Clarinet, 3 Movements Royal Leamington Spa 2001
Concerto for Viola, 4 Movements 2000

Operas and ballets[edit]

Title First performance
3-minute opera (in Dutch Slang) Utrecht, 2003
Opera No 1, Dulcinea, 4 Acts 2004
Opera No 2, Merlin, 3 Acts 2007
Cantata, "The Knighting of Sir Francis Drake" 2013
Ballet, Fantasy for Wind Orchestrafor Festival Hall 2000

Miscellaneous orchestral pieces[edit]

Title First performance
In the Mean Time 2002
Hitch 2002
Music for a Symphony Orchestra, Herbert
Voor Eline Commissioned 2001
Chamber Orchestra, High Wickham 1994
Chamber Orchestra, Admiraal van Gent 1994
Dartington Piece, Errollynation c2002
Piece for Saxophone Orchestra No 1, Hannibal Crossing the Alps
Piece for Saxophone Orchestra No 2
Suite for String Orchestra No 1, comprising: 1996–1999
– No 1 1998
– No 5 1998
– No 3 1998
– "Star of Eve" 1999
– "The Heart is Only a Muscle" 1996
– "Minimal Refinement" 1999
– "Mooie Neus" 1994
– "The Aftermath" 1998
– "Bril" 1998
– "The Chess Room" 1998
Suite for String Orchestra No 2, comprising: 1992–2002
– "George" 1992
– "Those That Never Were" 2002
– "Karin" 1999
Fugue for String Orchestra, "On Returning From Lisbon" 2008
Piece for 10 piece Brass Ensemble, Tell Brass, comprising: Utrecht
– "So This Is How It Is"
– "If Only"
– "Encore"
– "Fanfare for Nice Teachers" 1996
Piece for Catalyst Ensemble (13 Piece), The Day We Buried Michael Wilder 2004
Saxophone Quartet No 1
Saxophone Quartet No 2
Saxophone Quartet No 3
Saxophone Quartet No 4
Saxophone Quartet No 5 Utrecht and recorded
Saxophone Quartet No 6
Saxophone Quartet No 7
Saxophone Quartet No 8
Saxophone Quartet No 9, comprising: Breda – Commissioned Sax Quartet
– "Black Diamond" 2002
– "Topaz" 2002
– "Ruby" 2001
– "Amber" 2001
– "Amethyst" 1998
– "Emerald" 1998
– "Pearl" 1998
– "Sapphire" 1998
String Quartet No 1, 1 Movement, Living Dangerously 1991
String Quartet No 2 in F 1991
String Quartet No 3, On Returning from Kyiv 1995
String Quartet No 4, 4 Movements, with Bass Rotterdam (Amani) 1997
String Quartet No 5, 3 Movements Minsk Kyiv and recorded 1998
String Quartet No 6, 3 Movements, Voor Natalia 1998
String Quartet No 7, 4 Movements, Voor Joost Commissioned 2000
String Quartet No 8, 4 Movements, 2002
String Quartet No 9, Koh-i-Nor
String Quartet No 10, 3 Movements, The Inner and the Outer 2013
String Quintet No 1 (with Bass), Investigations 2012
Tuba Quartet No 1, 3 Movements Holland/Birmingham/Germany/
Tuba Quartet No 2, 3 Movements
Oboe and String Quintet, 3 Movements
Clarinet and String Quintet, 1st Movement "Loredana's Journey" 2009
Trumpet and String Quintet, 1st Movement "Loredana's Journey" 2009
Quintet for Cello and 4 Percussionists, 5 Movements Amsterdam Bachzaal
Wind Sextet No 1, Last Summer 2008
Wind Sextet No 2, Daria
Wind Quintet No 1
Wind Quintet No 2, comprising:
– "Investigations"
– "A Minimal Effect"
Brass Quintet No 1, For Michael, comprising: Utrecht
– "The Eyes Have It"
– "Nice Teachers"
– "Come Kyiv Come Seattle"
Brass Quintet No 2, Prevarications
Suite for Flute and Harp No 1, comprising: 1992–1996
– "Flight of Fancy" 1992
– "A Waltz for the Collector of Dreams" 1996
– "Minimal Commitment" 1996
– "A Walk on the Beach" 1996
– "The Return" 1996
Suite for Flute and Harp No 2, comprising: 1992–1999
– "Primary Thoughts" 1992
– "The Nasty Man" 1992
– "Henk's Waltz" 1992
– "Tomorrow" 1999
Suite for Oboe and Accordion No 1, comprising: 1996
– "Flight of Fancy" 1996
– "A Waltz for the Collector of Dreams" 1996
– "Minimal Commitment" 1996
– "A Walk on the Beach" 1996
– "The Return" 1996
Suite for Oboe and Accordion No 2, comprising:
– "Primary Thoughts"
– "The Nasty Man"
Henk's Waltz, comprising:
– "Because" 1996
– "Alexia of Life" 1993
– "Mark? My Word" 1993
Choral Piece No 1, From West Hill,comprising Prelude and Fugue Hastings/Holland x? and Radio
Choral Piece No 2, Dick Fricker's Poems, 3 Movements 2000
Songs: 2008–2013
– "Going to Dinner 1st Version" 2010
– "Merlin's First Aria" 2013
– "Nimue's First Aria" 2013
– "Nimue and Merlin's Duet" 2013
– "A Hymn to Kim" 2008
– "Je Bent" 2007
– "Kith and Kin"
– "Morgan la Faye's First Aria" 2013
– "The Stormcock Song" 2009
Song Cycle for Soprano and Baritone, with Clarinet and Cello accompaniment, comprising: 2013
– Cello Solo, "A Letter of Intent"
– Cello Solo, "Consequences"
– Cello Solo, "Ed Hucation"
– Baritone Song, "Going to Dinner 2nd Version"
– Clarinet Solo, "The Red Man"
– "Nimue and Merlin's Duet"
– Baritone Song, "A Hymn to Kim"
– Baritone Song, "Je Bent"
– Baritone Song, "Merlin's First Aria"
– Soprano Song, "Nimue's First Aria"
Clarinet Quartet No 1, 4 Movements 1993
Clarinet Quartet No 2, Koh-i-Nor, 3 Movements 1992
Wood Wind Quartet – (FLMco) 1995
Tuba Quartet No 1, 3 Movements Holland x? Birmingham/Germany
Tuba Quartet No 2, 3 Movements
Double Reed Quartet, 3 Movements
Flute Quartet, 3 Movements
Clarinet Quintet, Kindred Spirit 1992
Clarinet, Cello and Piano Trio No 1, "Je Bent" 2007
Horn and Tuba Trio, "Call It Tuesday"
Duet for Two Cellos, "Je Bent" 2007
Duet for Clarinet and Cello
Horn and Piano Duet, "For Hatie"
Suite for Trombone and Double Bass, No 1/No 2/No 3
Suite for Basset Horn and Cello, comprising:
– No 1 "Je Bent" Commissioned 2007
– No 2 2008
– No 3 "Pavane for My Mother" 2008
Suite for Unaccompanied Clarinet, comprising:
– Solo for Eb Clarinet "Easily Mistaken" 2008
– Solo for Bass Clarinet "The Red Man" 2008
– Solo for Baset Horn "Basset on Experience" 2008
Suite for Unaccompanied Cello, comprising: 2013
– "Ed Hucation" 2013
– "A letter for the Cello Group" 2010
– "A Letter of Intent" 2010
– "Consequences" 2013
– "Basset on Experience" 2008
"Music for Sound Cooking Club", comprising:
– "Convincent" 1991
– "Cooperation Riff"
– "Easter Chick"
– "Fan and Five"
– "Hen Company"
– "High Klaas"
– "You Can't Ignor Igor"
– "It's A Tjitze"
– "Kindred Spirit"
– "Kith & Kin"
– "Living Dangerously"
– "Lizard the Wizard" 1990
– "The Man at the Desk"
– "My Goodness"
– "Stars & Sriplings"


  1. ^ "Ogun". Retrieved 28 November 2013.
  2. ^ "Credited artist: Keith Beal". Discogs. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
  3. ^ Counterpoint in Three Parts. ASIN 1908616032.
  4. ^ Cadmium Red. ASIN 1908616156.

External links[edit]