Vernon Handley

Composers

Biography

Born: November 11, 1930; Enfield, England   Died: September 10, 2008; Monmouthshire, Wales  
One of England's busiest and most recorded conductors of the late twentieth century, Vernon Handley emerged since the 1970s as the successor to Sir Adrian Boult and Sir John Barbirolli as the leading exponent of English music. Like Boult before him, he made a career specialty out of performing and recording symphonic music from England, some of it well-known and much of it overlooked by previous generations of conductors and Read more audiences.

Vernon George Handley was educated at Balliol College, Oxford, and the Guildhall School of Music. His earliest engagements as conductor were with the Oxford University Musical Club and Union, the Tonbridge Philharmonic Society, and the orchestra of the Hatfield School of Music and Drama. He became a professor of orchestra and conducting at the Royal College of Music during 1966, a post he held for six years. During the 1960s and 1970s, Handley was a frequent guest conductor with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic, the BBC Welsh Orchestra and the BBC Northern Symphony, the London Philharmonic, and the Philharmonia Orchestra. He was also frequently seen as a guest conductor on tour in various European countries, including Germany, Holland, Sweden, and France. Handley was also seen as a conductor at the London Proms concerts, and was the chief guest conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra from 1989 to 1994, in addition to holding posts with several Australian orchestras. In 1998 he became principal guest conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra, and was, as well, associate conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Handley's major impact as a conductor was through his recordings for EMI and Chandos, where he performed a large body of important English music. For EMI, his recordings of the music of Delius and Elgar, and, especially, the nine Vaughan Williams symphonies have proved perennially popular, the latter good successors to the earlier recordings by Sir Adrian Boult. For Chandos, he recorded a more unusual and specialized body of work, including the six symphonies of Sir Charles Villier Stanford -- which had largely been forgotten since the first decade of the twentieth century -- and the works of E.J. Moeran, Sir Arnold Bax, Sir Arthur Bliss, Peter Warlock, and Gerald Finzi, among many others. Handley also occasionally did work with more mainstream European composers, including conducting Jill Gomez's highly effective performance of the Joseph Canteloube's Songs of the Auvergne.

When he wasn't conducting, Handley spent much of his time studying and photographing birds in their natural habitats. Read less
Elgar: Sea Pictures, Symphony No 1 / Vernon Handley, Janet Baker
Release Date: 06/29/2010   Label: Lpo  
Catalog: 46   Number of Discs: 1
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Arnold: Symphony No 6, Etc / Handley, Lpo
Release Date: 09/26/2006   Label: Lpo  
Catalog: 13   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 144 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Elgar: Violin Concerto / Kennedy, Hadley, London Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 332872 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Performer:  Rusen Günes,  Russell Gilbert,  Peter Manning,  Alexander Cameron  ... 
    Conductor:  Vernon Handley
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  • 2.
    EMI Eminence - The Original Jacket Collection [50-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 393872 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  William Byrd  ... 
    Performer:  David Nolan,  Jonathan Small,  George Malcolm,  William Bennett  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Anton Rickenbacher,  Vernon Handley,  George Guest,  George Malcolm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Cambridge St. John's College Choir  ... 
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  • 3.
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 5412002 Release Date: 02/25/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Eric Coates,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Kathryn Stott,  Michael Boriskin,  Todd Levy  ... 
    Conductor:  Vernon Handley,  Eugene Ormandy,  Leonard Slatkin,  John Pritchard  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Taverner Players
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  • 4.
    Essential British Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 40306 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Henry Purcell,  Jeremiah Clarke,  Ralph Vaughan Williams  ... 
    Performer:  Emmanuelle Haïm,  Susan Graham,  Maurice André,  Jane Parker-Smith  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Alexander Briger,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Emmanuelle Haïm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée,  Philip Jones Brass Ensemble
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  • 5.
    William Walton: The Collector's Edition
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 40858 Release Date: 08/14/2012   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Sir William Walton
    Performer:  Ida Haendel,  Nigel Kennedy,  Lynn Harrell,  David Bell  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink,  André Previn,  Paavo Berglund,  Richard Hickox  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 6.
    The Essential Malcolm Arnold / Stephenson, Handley, Et Al
    Label: Conifer   Catalog: 51263 Release Date: 06/11/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Malcolm Arnold
    Performer:  Derek James,  John Lill,  David Nettle,  Richard Markham  ... 
    Conductor:  Vernon Handley,  Sir Malcolm Arnold,  Mark Stephenson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Grimethorpe Colliery Band,  London Musici
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  • 7.
    100 Best British Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 27315 Release Date: 05/22/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Thomas Tallis,  John Goss,  Charles Villiers Stanford  ... 
    Performer:  Jacqueline Du Pré,  Hugh Bean,  Gerald Moore,  Dame Janet Baker  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury,  Sir Philip Ledger,  Sir David Willcocks,  Sir Adrian Boult  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music,  Cambridge King's College Choir,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
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  • 8.
    50 Best British Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 27359 Release Date: 05/22/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Thomas Tallis,  John Goss,  Charles Villiers Stanford  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Williamson,  Stephen Cleobury,  Sir David Willcocks,  Peter Stevens  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury,  Philip Ledger,  Sir David Willcocks,  Sir John Barbirolli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music,  Wallace Collection (Brass Ensemble)
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  • 9.
    The Lark Ascending
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 80526 Release Date: 04/03/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Sir Edward Elgar,  George Butterworth,  Frederick Delius  ... 
    Conductor:  André Previn,  Sir John Barbirolli,  Neville Dilkes,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Allegri String Quartet
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  • 10.
    The Very Best Of English Song
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 80513 Release Date: 04/03/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  John Ireland,  Charles Hubert Parry,  Roger Quilter  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Janet Baker,  Gerald Moore,  Thomas Allen,  Geoffrey Parsons  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Sir John Barbirolli,  Simon Rattle,  Steuart Bedford  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Fretwork,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 11.
    Delius - 150th Anniversary Edition [18-CDs]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 0841752 Release Date: 01/10/2012   Number of Discs: 18
    Composer:  Frederick Delius
    Performer:  Piers Lane,  John Noble,  John Shirley-Quirk,  Yehudi Menuhin  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Sir John Barbirolli,  Vernon Handley,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Hallé Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 12.
    Essential Delius - 150th Anniversary Edition
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 0842102 Release Date: 01/10/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frederick Delius
    Performer:  John Shirley-Quirk
    Conductor:  Vernon Handley,  Richard Hickox,  Sir John Barbirolli,  Sir Malcolm Sargent  ... 
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  • 13.
    Brahms, Sibelius, Arvo Part / Tasmin Little
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 0858622 Release Date: 11/29/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Jean Sibelius,  Arvo Pärt
    Performer:  Tasmin Little,  Richard Studt,  Martin Roscoe
    Conductor:  Vernon Handley,  Richard Studt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bournemouth Sinfonietta
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  • 14.
    Bruch, Dvorak, Lalo / Tasmin Little
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 0858832 Release Date: 11/29/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Max Bruch,  Antonín Dvorák,  Edouard Lalo
    Performer:  Tasmin Little
    Conductor:  Vernon Handley
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
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  • 15.
    Icon: Vernon Handley - Champion Of British Music
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 98202 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Sir Arthur Bliss,  Sir William Walton  ... 
    Performer:  Nigel Kennedy,  Tasmin Little
    Conductor:  Vernon Handley
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 16.
    British Composers - Bliss
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 29018 Release Date: 08/23/2011   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Sir Arthur Bliss
    Performer:  Arto Noras,  Sybil Michelow,  Norman Knight,  John Shirley-Quirk  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Groves,  Vernon Handley,  Paavo Berglund,  Sir Malcolm Arnold  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 17.
    British Ballet Music
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 49819 Release Date: 05/17/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Arthur Sullivan,  Lord Berners,  Sir William Walton,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Robert Irving,  Louis Frémaux,  Sir Adrian Boult  ... 
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  • 18.
    Best Cello 50
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 31659 Release Date: 10/12/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Mathias Georg Monn,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Pablo Casals,  Paul Tortelier,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Lynn Harrell  ... 
    Conductor:  Pinchas Zukerman,  Christopher Warren-Green,  Sir John Barbirolli,  Iona Brown  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  London Chamber Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 19.
    Best Of British - The Nation's Favourite Classical Music
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 31600 Release Date: 09/28/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Gustav Holst,  Sir Edward Elgar,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  David Nolan,  Robert Cohen,  Paul Beniston,  Mair Jones  ... 
    Conductor:  Vernon Handley,  Simon Rattle,  Norman Del Mar,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Virtuosi of England
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  • 20.
    Rachmaninov: Symphony No 2 / Handley, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks   Catalog: 28220 Release Date: 09/14/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Conductor:  Vernon Handley
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 21.
    Vaughan Williams: Tallis Fantasia; Greensleeves; The Lark Ascending
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 27910 Release Date: 08/10/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Performer:  Sarah Chang,  Christopher Balmer,  Ian Partridge,  David Willison  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli,  Vernon Handley,  Bernard Haitink,  Sir David Willcocks  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Early Music Group
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  • 22.
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 7707372 Release Date: 07/19/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ron Goodwin,  Vivian Ellis,  Robert Farnon,  Eric Coates  ... 
    Performer:  Vernon Handley
    Conductor:  Vernon Handley
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  • 23.
    John Joubert, William Mathias: Symphony No 1 / Handley, Groves
    Label: Lyrita   Catalog: 340 Release Date: 07/13/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Joubert,  William Mathias
    Conductor:  Vernon Handley,  Sir Charles Groves
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 24.
    Elgar: Sea Pictures, Symphony No 1 / Vernon Handley, Janet Baker
    Label: Lpo   Catalog: 46 Release Date: 06/29/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Performer:  Dame Janet Baker
    Conductor:  Vernon Handley
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 25.
    Essential Cello
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 88582 Release Date: 02/23/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Luigi Boccherini  ... 
    Performer:  Han-Na Chang,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Steven Isserlis,  Maggie Cole  ... 
    Conductor:  Christopher Warren-Green,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Juha Kangas,  Kurt Masur  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nash Ensemble,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra members
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