Howard Goodall is an award-winning composer of choral music, stage musicals, film and TV scores, is well known as a TV and radio broadcaster, and from 2007-11 was England’s first ever National Ambassador for Singing, leading a programme (Sing Up) to improve the provision of group singing for all primary-age children. His best-known TV & Film themes & scores include Blackadder, The Gathering Storm, The Borrowers, Red Dwarf, Q.I., Mr Bean, Bean: The Ultimate Disaster Movie, Mr Bean’s Holiday, Island Parish and The Vicar of Dibley. His score for the HBO film Into the Storm won him the Primetime EMMY award for Original Dramatic Score in 2009.
In the theatre his musicals, from The Hired Man with Melvyn Bragg in 1984 to Love Story in 2010, have been performed in the West End, Off-Broadway and throughout world, winning many international awards, including Ivor Novello (1985), TMA (2006 and 2010), and Off-West End (2012) Awards for Best Musical. Love Story received its US première in Philadelphia in September 2012, followed by successful tours in The Netherlands and the Russian Federation. The Kissing-Dance (1998) and the dreaming (2001), both written with Charles Hart, were commissioned and first performed by The National Youth Music Theatre.
His music has been commissioned to mark national ceremonies and memorials and his choral works Psalm 23: The Lord is my shepherd and Love divine are amongst the most performed of all sacred music, featuring on several platinum-selling CDs. His Eternal Light: A Requiem has had nearly 400 live performances since its première in 2008 and won him a Classical BRIT Award for Composer of the Year. His 2009 Enchanted Voices, a setting of the Beatitudes, was no.1 of the Specialist Classical CD chart for 6 months, winning him a Gramophone award. In November 2011 Howard conducted the première in Westminster Abbey of his Every Purpose Under the Heaven: The King James Bible Oratorio, to mark the 400th anniversary of its publication. In June 2012 his Rigaudon formed part of the New Water Music that accompanied Queen Elizabeth II on her Diamond Jubilee Regatta and he was musically responsible for Rowan Atkinson’s memorable performance at the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics. On 4th August 2014 his choral work Sure of the Sky-Des Himmels sicher, specially commissioned for the occasion by HM Govt was performed at the St Symphorien Military Cemetery to mark the start of the First World War.
For the past 15 years Howard has written and presented his own TV documentary series on the theory and history of music. For these he has been honoured with a BAFTA, an RTS Judges’ Prize for Outstanding Contribution to Education in Broadcasting and over a dozen other international broadcast awards. He hosts his own weekly show, Saturday Night at the Movies, on Classic fm, for whom he is also currently Composer-in-residence.
He is recipient of the Sir Charles Grove/Making Music Prize for Outstanding Contribution to British Music, the Naomi Sargant Memorial Award for Outstanding Contribution to Education in Broadcasting, the MIA/Classic fm Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music Education and in January 2011 he was appointed CBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours for services to music education. He is married to classical music agent Val Fancourt.