Leighton Lucas

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Leighton Lucas (5 January 1903 – 1 November 1982) was an English composer and conductor. Born into a musical family (his father, Clarence Lucas, was also a noted composer), he began his career as a dancer for Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes (1918–21). He became a ballet conductor at 19, as well as a self-taught composer of religious works and film music.[1] He also worked as an arranger for Jack Hylton's orchestra between c.1926 and 1930.

He is particularly noted for his film compositions, including the scores for Target for Tonight (1941), Alfred Hitchcock's Stage Fright (1950), Ice-Cold in Alex (1958) and the incidental music for The Dam Busters (based on the title march by Eric Coates).

Benjamin Britten wrote that Lucas's Partita (1934) for piano and chamber orchestra was "very interesting - especially quite lovely Sarabande."[2] Lucas's 'Sinfonia Brevis' (1936?) for horn and 11 instruments may be one of the earliest British scores to incorporate Balinese gamelan effects (it was heard by Benjamin Britten who went on to use such effects in his music from Paul Bunyan[3]).


  • "Eve's Rhapsody" from the film Stage Fright (1950)
  • Clarinet Concerto
  • Masque of the Sea (1928) for chorus and orchestra. Dedicated "To Mrs. Ernest Toye with All Affection" [4]
  • Partita (1934) for piano and chamber orchestra
  • Sinfonia Brevis (1936?) for horn and 11 instruments
  • Chorale and Variations, for brass band
  • Symphonic Suite, for brass band
  • A Waltz Overture, for brass band
  • Spring Song, for brass band
  • The Road to Alex, march for brass band
  • Target For Tonight, march for orchestra
  • Score for We of the West Riding (1945)[5]

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ Philip L. Sowcroft, "A Musical All Rounder: Leighton Lucas Archived 15 October 2010 at the Wayback Machine." at the Robert Farnon Society
  2. ^ Letters from a Life: The Selected Letters of Benjamin Britten, 1913-1976, Vol. 1, p.343-34)
  3. ^ Letters from a Life, Vol. 1, p.433
  4. ^ Vocal score in possession of the editor
  5. ^ We of the West Riding.

External links[edit]