Article first published on Malmö Faculty of Fine and Performing Arts
George Martin's importance as a producer, composer, arranger, conductor and musician cannot be overstated. He has been active as a music producer for more than 50 years and is most well-known as the producer for producing the recordings of The Beatles in the Abbey Road studios of London. Martin has also produced music for Cilla Black, Shirley Bassey, Ella Fitzgerald, Gerry & the Pacemakers, Billy J. Kramer, Elton John, Jeff Beck and Celine Dion among others.
Martin has also composed and arranged music, including a significant amount of music for films, and conducted symphony orchestras. Known compositions include the instrumental music in the Beatles films and the James Bond film Live And Let Die. Further, he has produced the lead theme in the three James Bond films From Russia With Love, Goldfinger and Live And Let Die as well as the music in a number of Peter Sellers films. He has also written theme music for several radio and TV series including The David Frost Show and the composition of the Dylan Thomas work Under Milk Wood. Martin has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, awarded uncountable Grammy Awards and listed in The Hall of Fame.
Martin has visited the Malmö Academy of Music on several occasions and has supported the Academy in its development of the Master's programme in Film Music Composition. When the programme was opened in 2008 in Ystad, Martin took part in a press conference and gave a much appreciated lecture in the Ystad Theatre on his rich musical career. He has even lectured the Academy’s music production students on his many years spend in the Abbey Road studios. Who could be a better inspiration to young, up and coming music producers?
Martin has had contact with Sweden since the early 1970s primarily through his close friend and colleague Staffan Olander who became known for, among other things, winning the Swedish TV quiz show Tiotusenkronorsfrågan (Kvitt eller dubbelt) (The Ten Thousand Kronor Question, Double or Nothing) in 1973 and 1989 with The Beatles as his specialist subject.
George Martin was delighted of the appointment and gave the following comment:
“These days many people in England are aware of Skåne because of the TV series Wallander, which we receive in the UK and which I personally think is great. It is nice to catch glimpses of places that I know. I think I came to Lund as far back as 1993 while I was doing a conducting tour of Sweden, but I got to know it better when I came here to give a talk about the Sgt. Pepper album to a crowd of University students in 1999. The hall seemed to be full to bursting. I think there were about 900 students with me.
So you can imagine my delight when I heard that the University had decided to offer me an Honorary Degree. This is such a great honour for me and I am thrilled to be able to come to receive it. Lund is a wonderful place and I always enjoy coming here. A couple of years ago I opened an important Master programme at the Malmö Academy of Music in Film Composition, situated in Ystad, which of course is also part of Lund University. I was impressed with the enthusiasm and energy of the music students that I met. What is more, everyone was so friendly! Thank you Lund, for inviting my wife and me to come here again. We love it.”