David Snell (1936- )
MUSICIAN, composer and conductor David Snell can count an Oscar-winning film score and the soundtrack to a Tomb Raider computer game among his achievements.
David lived in Albert Street and went to Spitalgate Primary and the Boys’ Central School.
He said private piano teacher, Frank Rawle of Huntingtower Road, was a huge influence.
David said: “He was a wonderful piano teacher, an incredible man.
“I remember Grantham with affection, it was a good home and if it hadn’t been for national service I would probably have stayed there.”
After a spell as pianist with the local Jimmy Carr Orchestra, he left town in 1954 for his National Service with the Royal Artillery.
David often conducts the London Symphony Orchestra in film soundtrack projects, including Oscar winner Emma and hit movies The Cider House Rules, Chocolat and Roman Polanski’s Oliver Twist.
He turned his attention to the harp after leaving Grantham, studying under Marie Goossens.
After a period as harpist with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra then at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden he began to compose and conduct.
He made his London conducting debut at the Wigmore Hall with the Philomusica of London when the programme included the first performance of his own composition Divertimento for Strings.
Other achievements include conducting the premiere recording of Return to the Centre of the Earth, a project of Yes frontman Rick Wakeman, with the London Symphony Orchestra.
He has recently conducted the score for the film Asterix and Obelix and the symphonic version of French hit musical Notre Dame de Paris, both also with the London Symphony Orchestra.
Other orchestras he has worked with include the London Philharmonic, the Royal Philharmonic, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and in the company of respected jazz musicians such as Johnny Dankworth, appearing on many albums alongside the cream of Britain’s jazz talent.