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Last Updated: Saturday, 12 June, 2004, 08:07 GMT 09:07 UK
Handley conducts way to CBE
Dr Vernon Handley
Dr Vernon Handley was awarded a doctorate by the University of Surrey
Conductor Dr Vernon Handley has distinguished himself as a champion of British classical music during his 40-year career.

The Welshman, who has been honoured with a CBE for his services to music, has recorded more than 150 discs, with more than 90 featuring the works of British composers.

Among his repertoire are the symphonies of Vaughan Williams, Stanford, Malcolm Arnold and Elgar.

One of his main principles is to recognise unfashionable works.

In 1962 he was appointed musical director to the borough of Guilford, where he established the Guildford Philharmonic during his 21-year tenure.

Dr Handley was appointed associate conductor of the London Philharmonic in 1983, following a long relationship with the orchestra.

He has been chief guest conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Concert Orchestra, among others.

Spreading British music

In recognition of his dedication, the University of Surrey awarded him a doctorate.

A former professor of conducting at the Royal College of Music, Dr Handley was also created Honorary RCM and FRCM by the Queen Mother.

He was created Honorary Fellow of both the Royal Philharmonic Society and the Royal Philharmonic Society and was elected an Honorary Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford, in 1999.

Dr Handley travels extensively through Europe, Australia and Japan, usually make a point of including a British work in every concert.

He is also strong believer in the encouragement of young professional players and was regularly involved with the National Youth Orchestra.

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