b. John Mervin Addison, 16 March 1920, Cobham, Surrey, England, d. 7 December 1998, Bennington, Vermont, USA. A composer for the theatre and films, Addison studied composition and several instruments, including the piano, oboe and clarinet, at the Royal College of Music shortly before and after World War II. He was Professor of Composition at the college from 1950-57; his own classical compositions included music for ballet, chamber orchestra and a trumpet concerto. For the theatre, in the 50s he collaborated with avant garde choreographer John Cranko on shows such as Cranks and Keep Your Hair On, and much later, in the early 70s, wrote the music to lyrics by David Heneker for The Amazons and Popkiss. He also contributed music to several plays, including Luther, A Patriot For Me, Bloomsbury, The Entertainer and Antony And Cleopatra.
In the film world he was among the leading UK composers, particularly during the 60s, with scores such as Seven Days To Noon, The Man Between, Private’s Progress, Reach For The Sky, Lucky Jim, I Was Monty’s Double, Look Back In Anger, A French Mistress, The Entertainer, School For Scoundrels, A Taste Of Honey, The Girl In The Headlines, Girl With Green Eyes, The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner, Tom Jones (for which Addison won an Academy Award), Guns At Batasi, The Amorous Adventures Of Moll Flanders, The Loved Ones, Torn Curtain, A Fine Madness (his first American film), The Honey Pot, Smashing Time, The Charge Of The Light Brigade, Start The Revolution Without Me, Country Dance, Mr. Forbush And The Penguins, Sleuth (nominated for an Academy Award), Dead Cert, A Bridge Too Far, The Seven Per Cent Solution, The Pilot, Strange Invaders, The Ultimate Solution of Grace Quigley, and Code Name: Emerald.
Addison also composed extensively for television programmes, including Sambo And The Snow Mountain, The Search For Ulysses, Grady series (NBC), Black Beauty, The Bastard, Centennial, Like Normal People, Love’s Savage Fury, The French Atlantic Affair, Charles And Diana: A Royal Love Story, Eleanor-First Lady Of The World, Mistress Of Paradise, Mail Order Bride, Ellis Island, Murder She Wrote (series), Something In Common, Thirteen At Dinner, Deadman’s Folly, Bigger Than A Breadbox, The Pumpkin Competition, Mr. Boogedy, Something In Common, Bridge Of Boogedy, Strange Voices, Beryl Markham, A Shadow Of The Sun, and The Phantom Of The Opera.