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Composer John Barry - Out of Africa, Bond, the Lion in Winter, Born Free

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John Barry OBE at the Royal Albert Hall / Image: Wikimedia Commons

John Barry OBE wrote hundreds of scores, and some of them seemed to capture the essence of a movie - Out of Africa, Dances with Wolves, a score of James Bonds, Petulia, The Lion in Winter, Cry, the Beloved Country, and Enigma.

Born in York, Barry was brought up in cinemas (his father began work as a projectionist and ended up owning a chain) so he was inhaling movie music when he was young. He never attended university, but he learned to read and write music and to play the trumpet. He started his own band in the Fifties, and began composing and arranging. He had his breakthrough with James Bond.

He loved to “create a poetic universe”.

One of his last works was the score for Enigma. It sounds a farewell.

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