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If you've watched the series, then you'll know that the soundtrack is amazing, and if you've not seen this series, then you should, because it is amazing as well.  Downton Abbey was one of the most viewed period dramas there is and has been commissioned for a second series later this year.  So, if you've not seen it, you should check it out!

Celebrated film composer John Lunn, the creator of the theme music for the award winning Downton Abbey television series, welcomes WFMT listeners into his home as he talks with host Jon Tolansky, about his life and career, composing for Downton Abbey, the Edwardian era, and some of his favourite music from that period. 

His chosen composers of the time are Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Holst, and by way of a diversion across the English Channel to France, Debussy.  There are also extracts from Mr. Lunn's Downton Abbey score and another of his latest works.

Born in 1956, John Lunn is a British composer known for his soundtrack work for television.  His work includes the theme music for the TV series Hamish Macbeth in 1995, North Square in 2000, Hotel Babylon in 2006 and Downton Abbey in 2010.  His music for Sky TV's Going Postal was the winner of Best TV Score in the 2010 Royal Television Society Awards, and was nominated for a British Academy of Film and Television Arts and an Ivor Novello Award for the adaptation of Dickens' Little Dorrit.  He was nominated for a British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award for Outstanding Original Score.

He has written several operas.  Misper (1997) and Zoe (2000) were written for Glyndebourne.  Mathematics of a Kiss was written for the English National Opera.  He also wrote the 2006 operetta Tangier Tattoo with librettist Stephen Plaice for Glyndenbourne.  And his Violin Concerto was premiered by Clio Gould and the London Sinfonietta at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

The broadcast special is available free of charge to all stations as of June 1, 2012.  For more information, please contact Tony Macaluso at 773-279-2114, email: or Carol Martinez at 773-279-2112, email:

At Home With John Lunn:

Composer of the Downton Abbey Soundtrack 

Program # DTA 12-01

Release:    May 2012


Lunn:                            Down By Downton Abbey Suite (Mary Jess; Chamber Orchestra of London; Alastair King, conductor) Decca 278 1146

Elgar:                           Introduction and Allegro (Capella Istropolitana, Adrian Leaper, conductor) Naxos 8.554409

Elgar:                            Cello Concerto (Maria Kliegel; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Michael Halasz, conductor) Naxos 8.554409

Lunn:                            Excerpt from The Mystery of Edwin Drudd (Nigel Robson; Chamber Orchestra of London, Alastair King, conductor) Private Recording supplied by John Lunn

Vaughan Williams:        Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis (New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, James Judd, conductor) Naxos – 8.555867

Debussy:                      Excerpt from Jeux (Orchestre National de Lyon, Jun Markl, conductor) Naxos 8.570759

Holst:                            Neptune from The Planets (Ladies of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra Chorus; Royal Scottish National Orchestra, David Lloyd-Jones, conductor) Naxos 8.555776

Lunn:                            An Ideal Marriage from Down By Downton Abbey (Chamber Orchestra of London, Alastair King, conductor) Decca 278 1146