Laurie Holloway

Composer Information: Laurie Holloway

Laurie Holloway has enjoyed playing and writing for Dame Cleo Laine, Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli, Anthony Newley, and had a long association with the late legendary jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli. He was musical director for Rolf Harris during a three year radio series. (See credits)

His early days as a pianist were spent travelling. He enjoyed a summer season in 1955 at the Pavilion ballroom Rothesay on the Isle of Bute. His older daughter Karon is a teacher of special needs at Rothesay academy. Laurie spends his vacation time in his apartment at Port Bannatyne on the island

He joined John Dankworth in 1963, and during a season at a club in London he met American singer Marion Montgomery. They married in 1965 and have a daughter, Abigail, who has given them two wonderful grandchildren, Freddie and Henry.

1969 - 1975, Laurie went round the world as musical director for Engelbert Humperdinck.

Laurie’s music has always been strongly jazz orientated. He has played with many of the legendary greats. Gerry Mulligan was a close friend. He made a television special (Jazz 625 for the BBC) as pianist for trumpeter Clark Terry and trombonist Bob Brookmeyer. He was with John Dankworth’s band for several years. He was Dame Cleo Laine’s musical director when she first went solo “on the road”. He was the late Joe Williams’ pianist in the UK and has recorded an album with trombonist J J Johnson. His late wife, Marion Montgomery, was one of the world’s most distinctive jazz singers, and they often performed in concert.

From being a studio musician, Laurie is now seen more often “in vision” on television shows, such as:
· Six times on “This is your Life” as a surprise guest: (Parkinson, Wogan, Tarbuck, Ernie Wise, Rolf Harris, and Benny Green)
· “Music Match” for BBC TV
· 1989 a BBC television series as musical director for Val Doonican; 1992 a video with Val
· 1994 and 1996 videos with Bob Monkhouse
· 1996 Sir Les Patterson’s video
· In April 1996 he was Musical Director of a video/TV special with the outrageous Lily Savage
· New Years Eve 1997 he was the musical director for the Bob Downe TV Special
· July 1997, featured pianist/musical director for “An Audience with Ronnie Corbett”
· Featured soloist with the LSO and the BBC Concert Orchestra.
· 1999 Last Night of the Proms, in Hyde Park: appeared as featured soloist along with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Evelyn Glennie for BBC TV and Radio 2.
· May 2000, special guest of Lesley Garrett on her television show.
· He was musical director for Liza Minnelli on the Graham Norton television show.

In February 2000 he was the surprise subject of “This is your Life” and is the proud owner of the “big red book”.

Laurie has been musical director, confidant and friend of Dame Edna Everage since 1980.

Laurie is the featured pianist on Dame Kiri Te Kanawa’s popular music albums and appeared with her in concert at the Albert Hall as both an accompanist and a solo performer.

His theme for “Blind Date” has been recorded as a ‘club’ dance track.

Laurie regularly conducted the BBC radio orchestra and was often heard in solo performance on BBC radio 2 “At the Piano”.

His collaboration with Marion Montgomery has been featured in two BBC Television specials, “One Woman” and “A Dream Of Alice” for which Laurie composed an original score.

Laurie is currently arranging and conducting for various artists such as Elaine Paige, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, and Gilbert O’Sullivan. He was musical director for Elaine Paige in “Piaf” at the Piccadilly Theatre.

He is the musical director, pianist and golfing partner of Michael Parkinson. The “Parkinson” series has been so successful that it is now an ongoing project. In 1999 they made three “specials” (George Michael, Oprah Winfrey and Woody Allen) and are due to continue as far as 2006.

Laurie was guest conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra for a Summer Pops series at the Barbican.

His academic work includes workshop and masterclass at Canberra School of Music and Melbourne’s Victoria Arts Centre, Australia, the Birmingham Conservatoire, and Wavendon Allmusic Plan.

He has composed and orchestrated several saxophone quartets, clarinet quartets, pieces for flute and piano, and clarinet and piano.
His two volumes of “Pop Preludes” (piano tutors) are published by Novellos.

The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music selected his composition “Walking Fingers” as a piece in the 2001 / 2002 Grade 1 examinations.

He has presented matinee concerts at the Barbican where he introduced young musical talent. He and Marion Montgomery have formed the “Montgomery Holloway Music Trust” a charity, which aims to afford young musical talent (jazz, classical and inspirational) the opportunity to study and perform. The Trust also has a yearly seminar in which Laurie instructs in the Art of Accompaniment.

The British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) awarded Laurie the Gold Badge of Merit in 1993 for his services to the music industry.

A recent album is “Laurie Holloway, Live at Abbey Road”
Released in September 2000. Universal Records issued a compilation album in August 2004 entitled “The Piano Player”.

He is the musical director of the hit BBC television series “Strictly Come Dancing”

In spite of all this activity his golf handicap remains stable at 12. 15


He composed the television themes for:
Russell Harty , Pam Ayres , Freddie Starr, Russ Abbott, Punchlines , Game for a laugh, Janet Brown Parkinson (YTV)(not BBC) , Blind Date, Child’s Play, Beadle’s About Music Match.

He has been musical director for:
Judy Garland , Dame Edna Everage , Stephane Grappelli, The Wogan Show , Marion Montgomery, Gilbert O’Sullivan, Dame Cleo Laine, Elaine Stritch, Sacha Distel, Frankie Howerd, Sammy Cahn , George Hamilton 1V, Barry Took, Sir David Frost, Mel Torme, Nana Mouskouri , Clive James , Val Doonican, Kiri Te Kanawa , Ted Rogers (3 2 1), Bob Downe, Ronnie Corbett, Ronnie Barker, Sir Les Patterson, Elaine Paige, Michael Parkinson, Jack Allen, Bob Monkhouse , Rolf Harris, Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli and Jack Jones.

“About Time” Elgin (TKO Magnum Distribution)
“Blue Skies And Other Vistas” Elgin 03 CD (TKO Magnum Distribution)
“Showtime” Elgin 05 CD (TKO Magnum Distribution)
“Laurie Holloway Live at Abbey Road” (Grasmere Records)
“The Piano Player” (Universal Records)

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