Music & Conversation: The Podcast of English Composer Andrew Downes

Around the Horn by Frank Downes: Chapter 6

December 14, 2020

Paula Downes reads her Grandfather and Andrew Downes' father Frank's book, Around the Horn, which tells the story of the Classical Music Industry from the point of view of a professional Horn player. Born 1921, died 2005, his fascinating orchestral career spanned the demise of the silent cinema, municipal seaside orchestras, the RAF Central band during World War II, orchestral playing in pre and post-war Britain, and the rise towards a Royal title for the Birmingham Conservatoire. Chapter 6 tells of funny mishaps during RAF parades; touring south Wales and meeting his brother in Cardiff where he was performing with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic as the Lead Violist; and most importantly of his engagement to his wife Iris, and the lovely time they spent in Colchester, where she was working for the Fire Service. At the end of the episode, the first movement of Andrew Downes' 3rd Symphony is played since it is a work Iris loved. The recording comes from the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra's recording of all of Andrew's Symphonies. The full work can be heard at

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