Doreen Carwithen

Active - 1950 - 1955  |   Born - Nov 15, 1922   |   Died - Jan 5, 2003   |   Genres - Drama, Crime, Mystery

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A composer whose gift for music ran in the family, Doreen Mary Carwithen began playing the piano and violin at the delicate age of four before moving on to score 35 films. Born to a music-teacher mother in Haddenham, Buckinghamshire, England, in 1922, the young prodigy utilized her gift to bring happiness to a war-torn England before composing her own works at age 16 and studying harmony at the Royal Academy. It was there that Carwithen would meet her future husband and compose the enduring 1945 overture "ODTAA" (aka "One Damn Thing After Another"). Two years later, the young female composer would be honored with a film music apprenticeship with J. Arthur Rank, and in the following 15 years she made a lucrative living scoring movies. Increasingly frustrated at the music industry's lack of interest in female composers, the talented musician sadly retired, only coming back to her musical roots after the death of her longtime husband, William Alwyn, in 1985. A severe stroke 14 years later rendered Carwithen paralyzed, and in January of 2003, she died in Forncett St. Peter, Norfolk, England, at the age of 80.