Gary Carpenter studied at the Royal College of Music with Humphrey Searle, Thea Musgrave and John Lambert. He has lived in Holland and Germany and has written operas, musicals (including The Streets of London at Her Majesty’s Theatre, London, and Goodnight Mister Tom), ballets (mainly for Nederlands Dans Theater) and a radio music-drama (The One Alone with Iris Murdoch), as well as concert music. He has has worked as a musical director and arranger-orchestrator on shows and films including The Wicker Man (1972), and his Azaleas for harp trio received a 2006 British Composer Award.
CDs include SET (orchestral) and Die Flimmerkiste (chamber). Other works include Fred and Ginger with the London Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Harding (2011), The Listening Project Symphony with the BBC Philharmonic and Terry Davies (2014), SET with Iain Ballamy on tenor sax with the BBC Philharmonic and HK Gruber (2014), Dadaville with BBC Symphony Orchestra and Sakari Oramo at the First Night of the Proms (2015), Willie Stock at Aldeburgh Festival with BBC Symphony Ochestra and Oliver Knussen (2016), Ghost Songs for junior choir and orchestra with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (RLPO) and Basque National (2018-19) and Mondrian, a harpsichord concerto, with Mahan Esfahani and Ensemble 10:10 (2019).
Gary was the RLPO’s Composer in Association (2018/19), lectures at the Academy, and holds a professorship at the Royal Northern College of Music. Until 2021, he was a Director of the Ivors Academy.