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Managers For Masters Of The Queen’s Music Stole £450,000 For Online Gambling

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
Oct/29/2008
Masters Of The Queen’s Music

Michael and Judith Arnold, former long time managers of the Master of the Queen's Music, have been charged with stealing nearly £450,000 from the composer. Scotland Yard officials claim that money was going towards fueling the Arnold's out of control online gambling addiction.

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies was left temporarily unable to compose and had to borrow from friends after money was allegedly found to be missing from his accounts, according to a report in the Times of London.

The missing money is reported to have included the composer's £15,000 annual retainer for his royal duties.

The couple have looked after Mr. Davies affairs for over 30 years.

The composer, who lives in Orkney with his partner, Colin Parkinson, is reported to have received a substantial settlement from the Arnolds after starting a civil action in the High Court.

He said recently: "I was very unhappy, and I stopped writing for six weeks. But you have to move on. It was hard to cope with because I had no money, and I had to borrow £10 or £20 from this or that person on the island, just to get basic shopping. But now the royalties are coming in, which is wonderful."

Master of the Queen's Music (or Master of the King's Music) is a post in the Royal Household of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom.

Given to composers of classical music, the post is roughly comparable to that of Poet Laureate. Duties are not clearly stated, though it is expected for the holder of the post to write music to commemorate important royal events, such as anniversaries, marriages and deaths, and to accompany ceremonial occasions.

The title was created in 1626 by Charles I as Master of the King's Musick (a spelling which was used until the appointment of Malcolm Williamson) and was first given to Nicholas Lanier.

Davies is a prolific composer who has written music in a variety of styles and idioms over his career, often combining disparate styles in one piece.

He was appointed Master of the Queen's Music for a ten-year period from March 2004

Early works include the Trumpet Sonata (1955), written while he was at college, and his first orchestral work, Prolation (1958), written while under the tutelage of Petrassi. Early works often use serial techniques (for example Sinfonia for chamber orchestra, 1962), sometimes combined with Mediaeval and Renaissance compositional methods. Fragments of plainsong are often used as basic source material to be adapted and developed in various ways.


Davies was one of the first classical composers to open a music download website, MaxOpus, (in 1996).

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Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com

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