Renowned Wind Instrument Innovator Graham Lyons Passes Away

by Madonna

Today, we mourn the loss of Graham Lyons, the brilliant mind behind the Lyons C Clarinet.

Graham Lyons began his musical journey at an early age, starting with piano lessons at six before discovering his passion for the clarinet at thirteen, inspired by the legendary Benny Goodman. Despite his affinity for piano, which he continued to explore independently, his heart belonged to the clarinet. His fond memories were often centered around his weekly lessons with George Draper, his first clarinet instructor.


Following his service as a Radar Fitter during National Service, Graham pursued physics at Oxford University. However, his devotion to music led him down a different path, and he shifted his focus to bassoon and composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Throughout his studies, Graham supported himself by performing in jazz clubs, showcasing his talents on piano, clarinet, and saxophone.


Over the next two decades, Graham Lyons carved out a remarkable career as a performer in symphony orchestras, musicals, and clubs, and his compositions adorned countless broadcasts, advertising jingles, and television soundtracks. His versatility extended to arranging music for bands and cabarets, as well as contributing to various BBC Radio orchestras, albeit now disbanded.


Beyond his performance achievements, Graham made a profound impact as an educator, teaching woodwind instruments part-time in schools and earning acclaim for his educational publications. His extensive repertoire of over sixty tutors and albums has collectively sold more than 300,000 copies, many of which remain essential resources on wind syllabuses across music examining boards.

Graham Lyons leaves behind a lasting legacy, remembered not only for his innovative musical contributions but also for his dedication to nurturing the talents of future generations of musicians.


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