Why write symphonies?

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Christopher Gunning in the recording studio

'I would like to think we might now be in a phase when composers no longer seek merely to impress with complexity'

Why write symphonies? People often ask me this. They are probably mindful that I’ve spent most of my active life composing for the media. First it was TV commercials – including my music for the long running Martini campaign 'The Right One' ("any time, any place, anywhere"). Then came TV dramas, notably Agatha Christie’s Poirot, starring David Suchet. And there were films too – such as Oliver Dahan’s La Vie En Rose, which concerned the life of Edith Piaf. None of these, or the hundreds of other productions I had the good fortune to work on, would lead you to think I’d also write seven symphonies and a growing catalogue of concertos and chamber music.

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