Brian Marks

Born in Hulme Manchester, Brian Marks has spent a lifetime composing and performing music.

In the early days he played at many prestigious venues around the UK, sharing the stage with top British and international names. Latterly he has turned to composing and recording classical music, mostly based upon historical features within the County of Cheshire where he now lives.

He has travelled extensively throughout Europe gaining knowledge of traditional styles of music ranging from Romanian Gypsy music, Portuguese Fado, French musette to traditional Turkish music in lstanbul which he has subsequently utilised in some of his compositions.

ln 1980 Brian put family before being a pro-musician believing that the two don't mix. He became a gardener at Lyme Park Cheshire, a spectacular country estate with hall, medieval deer park, woodland, moorland and meadows. Lyme featured as Pemberly in the TV adaptation of 'Pride and Prejudice'.

In 1984 Brian was approached by estate manager Peter Donnelly regarding the possibility of organising a musical event for Lyme Parks Summer Festival the following year.

Mr Donnelly was aware of Brians' previous career as a musician, playing flute and singing in a variety of rock and jazz groups and was eager to know what ideas he might come up with for the festival but he could never have envisaged the outcome of the challenge he had presented, for Brian was so inspired by his surroundings that he decided to produce a classical suite of music based on the history and natural history of the estate during the residency of the Legh family who lived there from 1346 to 1946.

This was a new musical direction for Brian, so he presented his melodies to classical pianist Mavis de Mierre and together they composed a beautifully emotive work titled "The Lyme Legacy" scored for quintet.

In August the following year, the work was premiered at Lyme Hall before a capacity audience that included members of the Legh family.

The music was later described as being "A work of great depth and subtlety."

BBC broadcaster Bob Symes introduced the evening, reading a historical narrative written by Whitbread prize winning journalist Lisa Birtwistle. His rich and well modulated voice brought to life six centuries of Lymes' occupation by the Leghs, describing the changes within the family, the hall and estate. Photographer Eric Stanway created a pictorial backdrop in the form of a slide dissolve show featuring scenes of the estate and interior of the hall. Forsyth's of Deansgate kindly loaned a grand piano to Mavis for the concert.

The evening was such a resounding success that Brian decided to record an album of the musical work which he titled "The Lyme Legacy."

TV and radio interviews followed and the press were hot on Brians' heels.

"A gardener inspired to compose a classical work of music was news indeed ..."

ln August 2005, twenty years after Brians' success at Lyme, he has now recorded a new CD album titled "'The Magic of Lyme."

The music on this album has been digitally restored from live tape recordings co-written with Mavis de Mierre and cellist Stephen Steadman.

During the 1980's and early 90's Brian continued playing with a variety of bands including Brent Crude and the Disley Playboys, Crystals House, Nittigritti and DFU.  See their individual pages for more info.

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