Dorking composer making memorable music receives airtime in sought-after TV slot!
Dorking composer and classical musician Adrian Brockless appeared in the latest episode of the BBC show Dragon’s Den on Sunday (September 1) seeking backing for a bespoke music service he has set up to help people mark important moments in their lives.
Adrian's company Bespoke Classical Music offers to write original scores for clients wanting something special played at key events such as baptisms, weddings, birthdays and even funerals. The works can be purely instrumental, or favourite poems or pieces of prose set to music.
"The idea is to create both an experience and an heirloom" he said recently.
In Dragon’s Den (Series 17, Episode 4), Adrian was seen at the piano accompanying a professional soprano (Emily Armour) and violinist (Victoria Barnes) performing his arrangement of the poem Leisure, by W.H. Davies, famous for its opening lines: “What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.” - He dedicated this to the Dragons.
“It was nerve wracking at first, but the music went without a hitch” he said afterwards. “I wanted £10,000 to spend on promotion – apparently the smallest amount ever sought.
Unfortunately none of the dragons were interested, but it was a tremendous opportunity to meet some of the best business brains in Britain, and get some very helpful advice...”
The Dragons who gave Adrian a hearing were Sara Davies, Peter Jones, Tej Lalvani, Deborah Meaden and Theo Paphitis.
Adrian, 39, is a former choral scholar at St Paul’s Cathedral and former head chorister at Guildford Cathedral. His work has been performed at various local music festivals. He is also a philosophy lecturer who has taught at various schools and universities in the South East.
“Music is something people turn to when meaning really matters,” says Adrian. “You often hear couples talk about “our song”. Well, I offer people the chance to own music that is unique to them.”
He has music in his blood. His father Brian Brockless was Professor of Harmony and Orchestration at the Royal Academy of Music for 20 years and then senior lecturer in music at Surrey University while his aunt Pauline Brockless was the soprano soloist in the last performance of Bach’s St Matthew Passion conducted by Vaughan Williams at the Leith Hill Music Festival in 1958.
Family legend has it that there were no musicians in the family until a certain Eliza Brockless, housekeeper at a guest house where the composer Handel was staying in the early 18th Century, had an illegitimate son.
Adrian charges from £800 for an organ or piano piece accompanied by a solo voice up to £6,360 for a composition for an eight-piece choir complete with instrumental backing and a recording session.
Listen to Adrian being interviewed about his time on Dragon's Den below: