Composer Anthony Payne dies, aged 84

The celebrated British composer dies just one month after his wife, soprano Jane Manning

Published: May 2, 2021 at 9:24 pm

British composer Anthony Payne has died, aged 84. The news comes almost exactly one month after his wife, soprano Jane Manning, also died. 'They were inseparable in life, and I suppose it's not a surprise that he would follow her so soon after,' said composer Colin Matthew on BBC Radio 3's programme In Tune on Friday, following the announcement.


As well as composing many of his own works, Payne was commissioned by the BBC Proms to complete Elgar's unfinished Third Symphony in 1998. Payne worked with fellow composer Colin Matthews on the project, who says it took about five years to complete.

It wasn't the only time Payne wrote music with a connection to Elgar, having also written a Pomp and Circumstance March in the style of the 20th-century British composer for the 2005 BBC Proms.

Payne often wrote for and performed with his wife Jane Manning. Together, they formed the ensemble Jane's Minstrels in 1988 and performed works by Purcell, Elgar, Bridge, Grainger, Webern and Schoenberg.


As well as composing, Payne was also a known musicologist and writer, having written books about Schoenberg and Bridge.


Freya ParrDigital Editor and Staff Writer, BBC Music Magazine

Freya Parr is BBC Music Magazine's Digital Editor and Staff Writer. She has also written for titles including the Guardian, Circus Journal, Frankie and Suitcase Magazine, and runs The Noiseletter, a fortnightly arts and culture publication. Freya's main areas of interest and research lie in 20th-century and contemporary music.

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