Michael Dunford's Renaissance

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An offshoot (some would say descendant) of the mid-'70s incarnation of Renaissance, Michael Dunford's Renaissance, as they usually billed themselves, were a throwback band playing '70s style progressive…
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An offshoot (some would say descendant) of the mid-'70s incarnation of Renaissance, Michael Dunford's Renaissance, as they usually billed themselves, were a throwback band playing '70s style progressive rock. (Lest that sound confusing, it's all a matter of point of view -- progressive rock, which should, by nature of its name, be forward-looking, is actually a '70s style that fell from favor amid the twin disco and punk rock booms.) Dunford, originally a guitarist and then a composer, and then a guitarist/composer with Renaissance, was one of the more active ex-members of the group during the '80s, primarily working toward his goal of mounting a theatrical version of "Song of Scheherazade," which had originally appeared as an extended suite on a Renaissance album in 1975. He formed Michael Dunford's Renaissance in 1994, after meeting Stephanie Adlington at a workshop for his Scheherazade musical, and toured and recorded successfully through the late '90s. Dunford's group re-emerged at just about the same time that the surviving core members of the original, 1969-vintage Renaissance (forerunner of the '70s group) began working together again using that name. With Adlington as lead singer and Richard Brown writing new orchestrations, the group's repertoire mixed new songs and remade classic songs by the '70s version of Renaissance. In November 2012, Dunford died of a cerebral hemorrhage at his home in Surrey, England, shortly after returning home from touring in North America.