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Martyn Ford studied horn at the Royal Academy of Music for four years, then in the fourth year formed his own symphony orchestra made up of talented music students from the four London music colleges. In 1971 the orchestra, then named the New Sinfonia, gave its first concert at the Royal Albert Hall, to much critical acclaim. Martyn was principal horn, and amongst the other members of the orchestra were Wilf Gibson, who went on to join the Electric Light Orchestra and Richard Studt (who appears on the BJH BBC In Concert CD, later became leader of the London Symphony Orchestra.
Martyn quickly established himself as an arranger, conductor and record producer with an international reputation, working with artists including Phil Collins, Paul McCartney, Elton John, The Rolling Stones, Bob Marley, Kate Bush, Led Zeppelin, Caravan and, of course, Barclay James Harvest. Amongst the classic songs arranged or orchestrated by Martyn were Johnny Nash's "I Can See Clearly Now" (a seven million seller for which Martyn received all of £35!), The Rolling Stones, "Angie" and Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir". His work can also be heard on albums such as Bad Company's Straight Shooter, David Bowie's Space Oddity, The Snow Goose by Camel, Phil Collins's Face Value and No Jacket Required, ELO's Eldorado, Jethro Tull's Heavy Horses, Elton John's Friends, Blue Moves and Too Low for Zero, Live and Let Die by Paul McCartney and Lou Reid's Transformer amongst many others.
Eventually the orchestra became known as the Martyn Ford or Mountain Fjord Orchestra, and was immediately in demand for record, film, television, radio and advertising music work, and soon monopolised those sections of the music industry. The Martyn Ford Orchestra even scored a Top 40 disco hit single with "Let Your Body Go Downtown" in May 1977!
Martyn subsequently conducted and arranged the "Classic Rock" albums with the London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Choral Society, winning gold and platinum record awards. He conducted and arranged music for the film "Tommy", working with Ken Russell and Pete Townsend; worked with Sir George Martin, Sir Paul McCartney and Marvin Hamlisch on the "Live and Let Die" movie sound-track; with Sir George Martin again on the "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" soundtrack, conducted his own orchestra in the incidental music for Central Television's "Naturewatch" series; worked with Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice on the original "Jesus Christ Superstar" album, and worked on the television series "Rock Follies". Martyn has twice conducted the orchestra for the Eurovision Song Contest, performing live in front of a television audience estimated at six hundred million.
Now based in London and the East Midlands, Martyn works as a conductor and music director concentrating on the symphonic orchestral repertoire, opera, musicals as well as music for film soundtracks, cinema and television commercials. His most recent venture in the rock music genre was conducting The Montreal Symphony Orchestra in concert with Caravan at the Quebec Summer Festival in July 2002.