A YORK councillor has called for a memorial concert in the city to remember the life of the great composer John Barry.

Following the announcement that a concert is set to be held in honour of the late composer in the Royal Albert Hall in London, musician and Coun Christian Vassie said he would like to see a similar concert held in the composer’s hometown.

Coun Vassie has called for the concert to be one of the first performances at the soon-to-be reopened Barbican. He said: “It would be great to see the Barbican finally opening and to have a concert of music by the composer most known in York.”

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will perform at the London concert under the baton of conductor Nicholas Dodd, with Dame Shirley Bassey as guest artist.

Mr Barry, who died of a heart attack in January, aged 77, was one of York’s most successful sons and was made an Honorary Freeman of the city in 2002.

He created some of the most memorable soundtracks of the past five decades, including several classic James Bond themes, and among tributes to be paid during the concert will be one from Sir Tim Rice, who co-wrote All Time High, the theme to Octopussy, with him.

Other tributes will come from Sir Michael Caine and Sir Michael Parkinson.

All profits from the event on Monday, June 20, will benefit a scholarship launched by the Barry family in memory of the five time Oscar-winning composer.

John Barry’s older sister, June Lloyd-Jones, who still lives in York, said she was “very pleased” the concert was taking place, and she and other members of the family would all be attending.

Tickets for the concert will be available on from Friday from the Royal Albert Hall box office on 0207 5898212.

York Press: The Press - Comment

Musical memorial

THE Royal Albert Hall is a fitting venue for a celebration of the life of the great John Barry.

He was a colossus of the film and musical worlds. It is right that Britain’s pre-eminent concert hall should stage a concert in his memory.

But Mr Barry was also a son of York. It was at The Rialto, his father Jack Prendergast’s venue in Fishergate, that Mr Barry first cut his musical teeth with the John Barry Seven.

So a memorial concert in London, certainly. But let’s, please, do something to remember him here in York, too.

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