Debbie Wiseman

Debbie Wiseman
Born (1963-05-10) 10 May 1963
London, England
Genres Film and television
Occupation(s) Composer, broadcaster

Debbie Wiseman MBE (born 10 May 1963) is a British composer for film and television, known also as a conductor and a radio and television presenter.


One of the UK's most successful female music ambassadors,[1] Debbie Wiseman was born in London. She studied at Trinity College of Music Junior Department, and then piano and composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama studying piano with James Gibb, and composition with Buxton Orr.

Wiseman is a Visiting Professor at the Royal College of Music, and regularly gives lectures to schools and colleges about the art of composing music for picture. In 2008 she composed a new Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra called Different Voices which was premiered by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra as part of their 60th birthday celebrations, and the work is now frequently performed by school and youth orchestras across the country.

In 2004 she was awarded an MBE in the 2004 New Year Honours List for services to the film industry[1] and has been awarded Honorary Fellowships at both colleges where she studied, Trinity College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.


Wiseman's film music credits include Tom and Viv (Nominated for two Academy Awards and the Alexander Korda Award for Outstanding British Film, 1994); Haunted; Wilde (Nominated for Best Original Film Score, Ivor Novello Awards, 1997); Tom's Midnight Garden; The Guilty; Before You Go; Arsène Lupin (Winner of Best Score for a Foreign language film and nominated for Score of the Year, Movie Music UK Awards, 2005); Flood (Nominated for Best Score for a Horror/Thriller, IFMCA Awards, 2007); and Lesbian Vampire Killers (Nominated for Best Score for a Comedy, IFMCA Awards, 2009).

Amongst her many television music credits are Dickensian (2015); Wolf Hall (2015); A Poet in New York (2013); The Whale (2013); Lost Christmas (Winner of Best Kids TV Movie / Mini-series, International Emmy Awards, 2013); The Passion; Jekyll; The Promise (Nominated for Best Drama Serial, BAFTA Awards, 2011); He Knew He Was Right; Warriors (Best Original Score ( RTS Awards, 2000), Winner of Best Drama (The South Bank Show Awards, 2000) & Winner of Best Drama Serial (BAFTA Awards, 2000)); Father Brown; WPC 56; The Coroner: Land Girls (Winner of Broadcast Award, 2010); Joanna Lumley's Nile; Fry's Planet Word; Stephen Fry in America; Othello (Nominated for Best Single Drama, BAFTA Awards, 2002); The Project; Judge John Deed; Feather Boy (Best Children's Drama, BAFTA Awards, 2004); The Inspector Lynley Mysteries; Michael Palin's New Europe ("Wild East" & "Baltic Summer"); The Andrew Marr Show; Stig of the Dump (Emmy Award Winner, 2002); .

Her album of music to accompany Oscar Wilde's fairy stories, Wilde Stories was nominated for a Grammy Award and was used on a trilogy of animated films made in 2003 for Channel 4. Wiseman conducted the National Symphony Orchestra playing the music live to accompany screenings in Birmingham and London of two of those films, The Selfish Giant and The Nightingale and the Rose.[2]

In 2007 she was awarded the Gold Badge of Merit by the British Academy of Composers & Songwriters.[1]

In the Classic FM Top 100 2010 Movie Music Chart, Wiseman's score for Wilde was voted in at number 12 by the station's listeners. A suite of her music from the film was included in the 2007 Great British Film Music Prom concert at the Royal Albert Hall conducted by John Wilson.

In 2008 she composed and conducted the CD Different Voices with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, with narration by Stephen Fry and solo vocals performed by Hayley Westenra, The lyrics are written by Don Black.[3]

As well as her composing work, Wiseman appears in concert halls across the country conducting her film scores, and also appears as an expert guest on the BBC TV broadcasts of The BBC Proms.

In 2011 Wiseman presented a Radio 4 programme on the composer, Joseph Horowitz, and appeared on the panel of Your Desert Island Discs at Christmas with Bill Bailey and Jo Whiley, presented by Kirsty Young.

Since 2011, [4][5] Wiseman has been signed as a recording artist to Warner Classics—her first solo album for the label, Piano Stories, which featured piano solo performances by the composer of many of her scores, entered the UK Classical Artist Album Chart at number 10.

She presented a Channel 4 series Backtracks, examining the role of music in film and television productions.[6]

In 2013 she presented Scoring Father Brown for Radio 4, which followed her composition process through the various stages as she scored the music for the BBC drama series. She also scored A Poet in New York, which was broadcast in 2014 on BBC Two.

In 2015 she wrote the theme tune an incidental music for BBC1's daytime drama The Coroner.


  1. 1 2 3 "Debbie Wiseman MBE". Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  2. News - Wilde Stories, Music Sales Classical, London, 10 November 2003.Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  3. "On making classical music appeal to younger audiences". 29 September 2008. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  4. Debbie Wiseman MBE: Biography, Debbie Wiseman's website, Undated.Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  5. Wiseman, Debbie: Piano Stories, Warner Classics, Undated.Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  6. "Debbie Wiseman tells her Piano Stories". Retrieved 18 February 2012.

External links

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