Tribute to Leeds Beckett honorary graduate
9 March 2016
We are saddened to hear of the death of Leeds Beckett honorary graduate and legendary Beatles producer, Sir George Martin.
Sir George was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Music from Leeds Beckett in November 2006.
Dr Nicholas Childs, musical director and conductor of the Black Dyke Band, was Sir George’s citator, describing him as the most successful record producer ever. He also mentioned Sir George’s link with the band, who played on the Beatles’ ‘Yellow Submarine’ record.
Dr Steve Parker, Principal Lecturer in our School of Film, Music and Performing Arts, said: "I was never fortunate enough to work with Sir George Martin but I have met him on a number of occasions at APRS (the Association of Professional Recording Services) events or when working at AIR studios. He was always a warm and genial man who made you feel instantly at ease. I’ve lost track of the number of artists I’ve worked with over a 40 year career in the recording industry, from major rock acts to aspiring singer songwriters but I've never met anyone who had anything negative to say about Sir George or anyone who has not been influenced by his work. He was a true gentleman who will be missed by many of my close industry friends."
Andrew Fryer, Head of the School of Film, Music and Performing Arts, commented: "George Martin changed the way popular music was regarded and the experimental techniques he incorporated and pioneered in the recording studio had a profound influence on all of us working in the music industry, as artists, engineers and producers. We are honoured that he recognised our University as a key institution for research and development in music production by opening our Headingley recording studios and accepting an Honorary award. We hope that we can continue to do justice to his legacy, not only in terms of his influence as a musician but also in his innate ability to achieve the best performance from those he worked with."
Sir George entered the music industry in 1950 after studying at the Guildhall School of Music and has just been inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame. He started off recording classical music and his later experience with jazz and pop led to his appointment as Head of the Parlophone label in the EMI Group in 1955.
In 1965 he formed a production company with three other producers and four years later set up Air Studios, a recording complex in London, which to this day is one of the most successful studio operations in the world.
In 1988 Sir George was appointed CBE for his services to the music industry and in the 1996 Queen's Birthday Honours, he was given a Knight Bachelor.