Richard Rodney Bennett was born 29 March 1936 in Broadstairs, Kent. He enrolled in the Royal Academy of Music in 1953 and then went on to study in Paris in 1957 – 1959 with the French Composer Pierre Boulez. Bennett wrote his first musical score for ballet in 1980 with the ballet Isadora and then in 1981 he wrote the music for Noctuary, a ballet by Macmillian yet to be performed.
Bennett later became well known for his film score which includes credits such as Far from the Madding Crowd, Nicholas and Alexandra, Murder on the Orient Express and Four Weddings and a Funeral. He also composed for the music to the 1964 Doctor Who serial, The Aztecs. He was knighted in 1998 for his services to music.
Richard Rodney Bennett passed away in New York Christmas Eve 2012 after a short illness.