Del Mar, Norman (René)

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Del Mar, Norman (René)

Del Mar, Norman (René) , English conductor, teacher, and writer on music, father of Jonathan (Rene) Del Mar; b. London, July 31, 1919; d. Bushey, Feb. 6, 1994. He studied composition with Morris and Vaughan Williams at the Royal Coll. of Music in London, and also had lessons in conducting with Lambert. In 1944 he founded the Chelsea Sym. Orch., with which he championed rarely performed WORKS in England. He also played horn in and was asst. conductor of the Royal Phil, in London (1947–48). From 1949 to 1955 he was principal conductor of the English Opéra Group, and from 1953 to 1960 conductor and prof, at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. In 1954–55 he was conductor with the Yorkshire Sym. Orch. After serving as principal conductor of the BBC Scottish Sym. in Glasgow (1960–65), he was principal guest conductor of the Goteborg Sym. Orch. (1969–73). In 1972 he joined the faculty of the Royal Coll. of Music, where he taught conducting and conducted its First Orch. He also conducted the chamber orch. of the Royal Academy of Music in London (1973–77) and was principal conductor of the Academy of the BBC (1974–77), a training ensemble. After serving as principal guest conductor of the Bournemouth Sinfonietta (1982–85), he was artistic director of the Århus Sym. Orch. (1985–88). In 1990 he retired from the faculty of the Royal Coll. of Music. In 1975 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.


Paul Hindemith (London, 1957); Modern Music and the Conductor (London, 1960); Richard Strauss: A Critical Commentary of His Life and WORKS (3 vols., London, 1962, 1968, 1972); Mahler’s Sixth Symphony: A Study (London, 1980); Anatomy of the Orchestra (London, 1981); A Companion to the Orchestra (London, 1987); Conducting Beethoven: Volume I: The Symphonies (Oxford, 1992) and Volume 2: Overtures, Concertos, Missa Solemnis (Oxford, 1993); Conducting Brahms (Oxford, 1993); J. Del Mar, ed., Conducting Berlioz (Oxford, 1997); J. Del Mar, ed., Conducting Elgar (Oxford, 1998); J. Del Mar, ed., Conducting Favourite Concert Pieces (Oxford, 1998).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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