Tributes to famed music conductor Kenneth Alwyn who has died at his South Downs home

Tributes are being paid to celebrated conductor and composer Kenneth Alwyn who has died at his home in West Chiltington where he had lived for the past 54 years.

Wednesday, 16th December 2020, 4:21 pm

A fellow of the Royal Academy of Music, Kenneth appeared on BBC 2’s Friday Night is Music Night for 30 years.

He was described by the BBC as ‘one of the great British musical directors.’

He conducted for the London Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, and others all over the world from Europe to Japan.

Kenneth Alwyn

His wife - the actress Mary Law - said: “He was a wonderful, wonderful man. He has been a marvellous husband and has looked after me splendidly. We had a lovely life together.”

Daughter Timandra revealed that Kenneth had taught his whole family to play the piano and described her father as a ‘good adviser and a good listener.’

She said: “He was an absolute raconteur and was so funny. He always had a story for every single occasion.

“He used to keep us all amused by doing ballet steps across the room, having worked with the Royal Ballet.”

Among tributes which poured in after his death on December 10 at the age of 95 was one from the entertainer Tommy Steele who described Kenneth as ‘a dear dear friend and colleague.’

He added: “What a lovely, lovely man, Kenneth was a known crescendo in the world of music.”

Kenneth worked on the premieres of numerous West End musicals, among them Camelot, Half a Sixpence, The Most Happy Fella and Charlie Girl.

Born in Croydon, Kenneth was in the RAF during the Second World War and developed a love of flying. He later went on to become chief flying instructor at Shoreham Airport and ran a club there.

His other daughter Lucina said: “His big passion outside music was flying. He would spend all his spare time down at Shoreham instructing and was known as ‘Captain Ken’ by many. He was quite a character.”

He wrote two volumes of his memoirs: A Baton in the Ballet and Other Places and Is Anyone Watching?

A book of remembrance has been set up on his website: www.kennethalwyn.co.uk