A Celebration of Paul Reade, Composer

by Martin Davies in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

We did it
On 15th June 2022 we successfully raised £12,521 with 153 supporters in 28 days

Help us produce a premier recording of Paul Reade's magical pieces of music.

by Martin Davies in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

The stretch target is to go towards the marketing and promotion of the finished CD.

Paul Reade died 25 years ago this summer.  He is remembered for his delightful Victorian Kitchen Garden music (Ivor Novello Award) and television themes such as Antiques Roadshow.  However, he also wrote a huge range of equally wonderful but less well-known pieces, full of melodic invention, wit and fabulous energy.

For some time, his widow, flautist Philippa Davies, has had the vision of recording a selection of these magical pieces.  They are previously unpublished and unrecorded works that deserve to be heard.

We want to celebrate his music with this premier recording which will be issued in time for what would have been Paul's 80th birthday, early 2023. 

The recording is going to be self-funded with Philippa Davies covering more than 50% of the costs.  

This project seeks to find the shortfall (£10,000) to enable the recording to go ahead.


The Recording

The recording is scheduled for 27-28 June 2022.  Anna Barry (a record producer and also Paul's cousin) will produce the record.

With your help, we can harness the innate musicianship of conductor Michael Collins and the English Chamber Orchestra to capture Paul’s fabulous Chants du Roussillon and Song of the Birds,  a popular folk song arranged by Paul.  Both of these will be performed by Decca artist Pumeza Matshikiza.

We will also include four world premier recordings:

The Flute Concerto with Philippa Davies as soloist.

Serenata for wind sextet played by London Winds.

The Bassoon Concerto, his last ever piece.  At the time of his death Paul was in the middle of writing a Bassoon Concerto inspired by a Basque song for our friend Laurence Perkins.  Only the first movement Catalonia was completed and Laurence will perform it. 

Victorian Kitchen Garden Suite arranged by Jan Willem Nelleke.  Jan Willem has completed a beautiful orchestration of the Victorian Kitchen Garden Suite for flute, harp and strings.  Philippa Davies will be playing the flute and is thrilled that we can include this in the recording.

The CD will be issued by Signum by January 2023 in time for what would have been Paul's 80th birthday.


Paul Reade’s Music


Paul Reade studied piano at the Royal Academy of Music and had his first orchestral piece, Overture to a City, performed in 1965 by the Academy Orchestra under Maurice Handford - the first of many of his works broadcast on Radio 3. 

First a répétiteur for Opera For All at English National Opera, Paul then moved to BBC TV in the late Sixties as pianist and songwriter for the children's programme Play School for which he wrote the iconic title music.  He also wrote the music for the popular animations Crystal Tipps & Alistair, Ludwig and The Flumps.  Classic serials like A Tale of Two Cities (1980), Great Expectations (1981) and Jane Eyre (1983), revealed a mature screen composer.

Paul wrote Chants du Roussillon for the soprano Elizabeth Harwood as a result of his first trip to Moura Lympany's Rasiguères Festival in the early eighties along with members of the Manchester Camerata.  The first performance took place in the caves at Rasiguères in 1988. 

He formed an excellent bond with the Camerata which resulted in notable works for narrator and orchestra subsequently broadcast on radio, such as Cinderella (1980) and The Midas Touch (1982).  The Camerata also commissioned his beautiful Flute Concerto (1985).

Paul Reade’s large-scale ballet scores, Hobson's Choice (1989) and Far from the Madding Crowd (1996), brought his music to the attention of a wider audience.  In collaboration with Sir David Bintley, these were staged at the Royal Opera House, Birmingham Hippodrome and all over the country.


About Philippa Davies


Philippa Davies trained as a flautist at the Royal College of Music.  In her early career she played with Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’s ensemble Fires of London and the London Mozart Players.

Now with the Nash Ensemble and London Winds, Philippa plays in international festivals and gives masterclasses.  She has given many concerto performances globally including Paul’s Flute Concerto and is a popular BBC Proms artist. 

She is a Professor at the Guildhall School of Music, and each summer runs her own highly regarded international course in Cubertou, France.

In 1989 musical director Peter Broadbent was programming Paul’s Flute Concerto in a concert at St John's, Smith Square with the strings of the London Mozart Players, and suggested to Paul that Philippa, their then principal flautist, would be an excellent choice as soloist.  She gave a superb performance that night and this was the beginning of a marvellous partnership with Paul.  Their complementary personalities, their respect and support for each other's career and the obvious love they felt for each other warmed all their friends.  They then married.

What others say about Paul Reade

'Twenty five years ago we stayed at Paul’s cottage on Exmoor.  Paul and I were deep into Far from the Madding Crowd and loving every second of it.  Paul played the pedal harmonium; we sang folk songs until it got too dark and smoky to see and we were all hammered on local cider.  I was really glad that my last hurrah as Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet was Hobson’s Choice at Sadler's Wells. Perfect, serendipitous symmetry!'

Sir David Bintley


'I think it’s fantastic to record a range of the music that came later in dad’s life and was so close to his vision.  It is music written from the soul.  I admire you for encapsulating what sparked and sustained your relationship with Paul in this recording.  A wonderful tribute to the man and his music.'

Simon Reade, son


'When I was told this recording was to be made, many memories of our collaboration with Paul came flooding back.  The most poignant was the first performance of Chants du Roussillon in the wine cave of Rasiguères when the nightingales joined in. Coming out afterwards, swallows were flying low and there was a wonderful aroma of Roussillon herbs.  Unforgettable.'  

John Whibley, former General Manager of the Camerata


‘Intensely romantic, consistently lyrical and richly tuneful.’

Gramophone, on Far from the Madding Crowd 





This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£25 or more

CD of Recording

A CD of the premier recording of Paul's music to be recorded on 27/28 June 2022.

£50 or more

CD of Recording Signed by Soloists

A CD of the premier recording of Paul's music to be recorded on 27/28 June signed by the soloists.

£100 or more

Instrumental Lesson

A lesson with any one of the soloists: Philippa Davies (flute) Michael Collins (clarinet) Laurence Perkins (bassoon)

£250 or more

0 of 8 claimed

Attend the Recording

Attend the second day of recording (28 June 2022) as a guest and view/listen to the recording taking place.

£1,000 or more

0 of 4 claimed

Premier Seat in Recording Room

A premier seat in the Recording Control Room for one of the two recording days to see what happens behind the scenes. Limited to 2 people per day.

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