Sir Louis Clark:
conductor (not of the bus variety!) and string arranger magnifique.
man who proves that you don't need a 45 piece symphony orchestra
up your sleeve when you've got him in your lineup on the orchestral
Clark is the man behind the majestic ELO string arrangements throughout
their most prosperous years. He has also enjoyed enormous success
in a separate career, selling millions of recordings of the Hooked
on Classics series with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. A talented
and skilled arranger, Louis is much in demand all over the world,
working with artists ranging from Ozzy Osbourne to Roy Orbison
and scoring orchestral arrangements of music by Abba, The Beatles,
Queen and Phil Collins.
work crosses all musical boundaries and he is equally at ease
with the classics as with pop and the heavier side of rock. Through
his arranging work, Louis has opened up many areas to audiences
who may have otherwise spent a lifetime stranded on a musical
in Bedford in 1947 but moved to Bridgnorth in Shropshire, Louis
had an early interest in music, taking lessons as a child. His
imagination was ultimately captured by The Beatles, and as a teenager,
Louis joined the Birmingham-based Raymond Froggatt Band as bass
player, recording two albums and ten singles in the late 60ís.
During this time, the bandís need for a string arranger led Louis
to learn the art literally "by the book". As his interest in this
aspect of music developed, he enrolled at the Leeds College of
Music, in a course studying arrangement and composition, along
with flute and keyboards.
studies completed, Louis returned to Birmingham, working again
with Raymond Froggatt, where he met Jeff Lynne. Jeff was experimenting
with ideas for the next ELO album and invited contributions from
Louis, who went on to co-arrange the score and conduct a full
orchestra on the 1974 album Eldorado.
This collaboration marked the
beginning of massive global success for ELO, with Louís keen sense
of sweeping strings integrating perfectly with Jeffís melodic,
often soulful, guitar-driven pop songs. Louis input to ELOís sound
was absolutely crucial and was the hallmark of the bandís biggest
the 70ís, Louis Clark was never listed as a touring member of
ELO, but this changed in 1981 when he joined for live touring
work on string synthesiser. It was around the same time that his
remarkable run of classical/pop album successes began, and he
has since travelled far and wide conducting live concerts of this
material. 1998 will see him playing stadium-sized shows in South
America conducting his arrangements of the ever-popular music
of Queen, as well as sell out shows at the Royal Festival Hall
and Kenwood in London.
ELO Part II was formed, Louis was first choice for orchestral
arranger and string synthesiser player at their concerts. Louis
also conducted the magnificent Moscow Symphony Orchestra on that
first tour. His involvement with the One Night Ė Live In Australia
album, recorded with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, once again
demonstrates his immeasurable contributions to the band. Louisí
string arrangements blend seamlessly with the other membersí songs,
adding a rare dynamism, while his own orchestral compositions
are dramatically atmospheric. Now famed for his approach to live
keyboard work, "Sir" Louís dramatic visual persona pales in comparison
to his vivid impact on the bandís sound!