The former chairman of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and composer for brass bands was 73

gareth wood

Gareth Wood

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Welsh double bassist and composer Gareth Wood has died, aged 73. He was a member and chairman of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) and prolific composer for brass bands.

Wood was born in Cilfynydd, Wales in 1950. He studied composition and the double bass at the Royal Academy of Music, joining the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1972. He toured extensively with the orchestra, appearing at all the world’s major music festivals and played for conductors such as Leopold Stokowski, Rudolf Kempe, Karl Böhm, Bernard Haitink and Georg Solti. He became chairman of the RPO in 1991, a post he held for three years.

As a composer, he first came to the attention of the public in 1975 when his overture Tombstone, Arizona was performed at the Royal Albert Hall during the National Brass Band Festival. His portfolio included numerous works for brass bands and instruments, including the 1992 European Championship set-work, Five Blooms in a Welsh Garden. Wood also composed concertos, a sonata and chamber music for the double bass.

As an educator, Wood taught at the National Centre for Young Bass Players, and composed Light, a dectet for the Centre basses, in 2011.

His works also featured at many important cultural events, including fanfares to open the National Assembly of Wales (Senedd) in Cardiff as well as the Kravis Centre in West Palm Beach in Florida.

Watch a performance of Wood’s Bass Quartet, featuring Rodrigo Moro Martín, Jon Mikel Martinez Valgañón, Philip Nelson and Frances Emery:

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