Debbie Wiseman MBE

Biography

One of the UK’s most successful female music ambassadors, Debbie is in demand as a composer and conductor.

Throughout the past 20 years, there are probably few people in the UK who have not heard a theme from one of Debbie’s films or television productions. Whether it is watching Stephen Fry bring to life Oscar Wilde for the big screen, hearing the latest political commentary on a Sunday morning with Andrew Marr, or revelling in the Tudor world of Thomas Cromwell in “Wolf Hall”, Wiseman has gifted us iconic themes of beauty and passion, love and laughter.

Her credits, over 200 of them, for the big and small screen, include WOLF HALL, THE WHALE, FLOOD, WARRIORS, JUDGE JOHN DEED, WILDE, HAUNTED, OTHELLO, LAND GIRLS, JOANNA LUMLEY’S NILE, TOM & VIV, JEKYLL, THE INSPECTOR LYNLEY MYSTERIES, THE PASSION, THE GUILTY, BEFORE YOU GO, ARSENE LUPIN, HE KNEW HE WAS RIGHT, TOM’S MIDNIGHT GARDEN, LOST CHRISTMAS, STEPHEN FRY IN AMERICA, WPC 56, THE PROMISE, A POET IN NEW YORK, THE ANDREW MARR SHOW, FATHER BROWN, THE CORONER and DICKENSIAN.

Debbie has been nominated for two Ivor Novello Awards for WILDE and DEATH OF YUGOSLAVIA, and has won a TRIC Award for THE GOOD GUYS and an RTS Award for WARRIORS. She has been awarded the Gold Badge of Merit by the British Academy of Composers & Songwriters. In March 2016 she was awarded the Best Composer, Drama award for WOLF HALL at the RTS West Awards.

Debbie is a Visiting Professor at the Royal College of Music, and regularly gives masterclasses to schools and colleges about the art of composing music for picture. She has composed a new “Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra” called “Different Voices”, and the work is now frequently performed by school and youth orchestras across the country. Her album of music to accompany the fairy stories of Oscar Wilde – WILDE STORIES, on the Warner Classics and Jazz label - was nominated for a Grammy Award and was then made into a trilogy of animated films for Channel 4.

In Classic FM’s Top 100 Movie Music Chart, Debbie’s score for WILDE is regularly voted into the top 40 by the station’s listeners. A suite of her music from the film was included in the Great British Film Music Prom concert at the Albert Hall.

As well as her composing work, Debbie appears in concert halls across the country conducting her film scores, and has been a regular guest conductor at the Royal Albert Hall’s annual Filmharmonic concert as well as appearing at the 2014 Cordoba International Cinema Music Festival, becoming the first female conductor in the history of the event . She has also appeared as an expert guest on the BBC broadcasts of The Proms.

Debbie is a regular presence on Radio 3 and 4. She presented a Radio 4 programme on the composer Joseph Horovitz, and in 2013 Debbie presented Scoring Father Brown for Radio 4, which followed her process of composing the score for the BBC TV series. In October 2014 Debbie was Kirsty Young’s guest on Desert Island Discs, and in March 2015 Debbie presented Same Tune, Different Song on Radio 4, as well as a two-hour special of her favourite music on Radio 3’s Saturday Classics programme.

In April 2014, Debbie made her debut in Classic FM's "Hall of Fame":

Debbie was honoured in the Queen's New Year's Honours list with an MBE for services to the music and film industry. She was awarded Honorary Fellowships at both colleges where she studied, Trinity College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama,

Debbie’s first solo album, “Piano Stories”, which featured piano solo performances by the composer herself of many of her best-known scores, entered the UK Classical Artist Album Chart at number 10.

The CD album of Debbie’s original score for the acclaimed BBC series, Wolf Hall, entered the UK’s Classic FM chart at Number 1.

Debbie was one of 11 composers chosen to compose music for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant on June 3rd 2012 when she conducted her movement of “New Water Music” on The Georgian barge. She was commissioned to compose the Overture and Finale music for the Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration in May 2016.

Debbie is currently Classic FM’s Composer in Residence and her first album commissioned by Classic FM - “The Musical Zodiac” - reached Number 2 in the UK Classical Chart in September 2016.

Debbie Wiseman talks to Simon Burton about writing music for film, television and the Diamond Jubilee (PDF)


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