Yershon, Gary

About the Composer

In his long and varied career, Gary has written scores for the leading UK theatre companies, West End and Broadway productions, radio, television, film, dance and concert hall.

Gary was born in London in 1954. He read Music and Drama at Hull University, where his composition teacher was Anthony Hedges. As soon as he graduated, he began working in theatre as an actor and a composer. In 1991 he withdrew from performance to concentrate on composition.

Gary’s stage scores include many productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, the West End and Broadway. Highlights include music for the English-language premieres of Yasmina Reza’s plays Art, The Unexpected Man, Life x 3 and God of Carnage, and Florian Zeller’s The Height of the Storm.

His best-known film work has been for Mike Leigh. Their collaboration began with Topsy-Turvy, on which Gary was musical director, followed by scores for Happy-Go-Lucky, Another Year, A Running Jump, Mr Turner and Peterloo. Other film composition projects include Brighton for Stephen Cookson and 23 Walks for Paul Morrison.

Gary’s television work ranges from detective drama (Trial and Retribution IX & X) to children’s cartoon series (James the Cat, Ebb and Flo).

He has written for BBC radio since 1979, beginning as a singer-songwriter. Since then he has composed for many drama productions, including The Odyssey and Gawain and the Green Knight (both adapted by Simon Armitage) The Theban Plays and The Winter’s Tale as well as the 2002 Sony-award winning Autumn Journal.

Music for dance includes Ma Vie en Rose (2007) for the Young Vic, and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2017) for Northern Ballet.

Concert works include The Great Blueness (2019) commissioned and premiered by the London Symphony Orchestra, the woodwind quartets Des Vents (2020) and The Antrios (2022), Lockdown Variations (2020) for solo flute, and the wind quintet Ready for Anything, (2022).

For Another Year Gary was nominated for a European Film Award. For Mr Turner he won the Camille Award for Best Orchestral Score, and was nominated for an Ivor Novello Award, the ASCAP Composer’s Choice award, and the Academy Award for Best Original Score. For The Norman Conquests he was nominated for a Drama Desk award.

Gary is an Associate Artist of both the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Old Vic theatre, an Associate Teacher at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He has taught at academic, vocational and professional institutions both in the UK and internationally. He is also a musical director, writer and presenter, and has curated seasons for the Barbican Cinema and the Garden Cinema.

Key Information

Year of Birth




Works on SXP

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