Sir John Dankworth

Sir John Dankworth was much more than a Vice-President of Milton Keynes City Orchestra.  He was, from its earliest days, a staunch and unfailing supporter, both in public and in private. He appeared as soloist with the Orchestra on a number of memorable occasions, he wrote music for us, and he solicited help on our behalf and frequently attended the Orchestra's concerts on his rare free evenings when he might well have preferred to stay at home.  He regularly invited the Orchestra to perform in his Garden and in his Theatre, and was the prime mover in organising collaborations with Dame Cleo Laine in Weill's Seven Deadly Sins and several unforgettable performances of Walton's Facade. He also composed a magnificent fanfare for the Orchestra’s 25th Birthday celebrations, “Birthday Fanfare”.

John was a man who lived out his beliefs in his life.  Always quick to recognise and encourage young talent, he saw the need for a thriving cultural dimension in Milton Keynes and worked tirelessly to provide a continuous stream of wide-ranging musical events here. If he had not chosen to make his home in Milton Keynes, it would be a much poorer place. 

We are all beneficiaries of the breadth of his vision and the depth of his talent, and the musical world is a poorer place without him.
Hilary Davan Wetton
Founder of Milton Keynes City Orchestra

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