Guy Douglas Hamilton Warrack (6 February 1900, Edinburgh - 12 February 1986, Englefield Green) was a Scottish composer, music educator and conductor. He was the son of John Warrack of the Leith steamship company, John Warrack & Co. , founded by Guy's grandfather, also called John.
Life and career
He was educated at Cargilfield Preparatory School, Edinburgh, Winchester College and where he played organ in chapel services, arranged House choirs and played timpani in the school orchestra. At Magdalen College, Oxford he studied music under Sir Hugh Allen and Dr Ernest Walker. During his time as a student, he performed as organist at St Columba's United Reformed Church in Oxford, as well as in Edinburgh at churches such as St George's United Free. He continued his studies at the Royal College of Music (RCM) where his composition professors included Holst and Vaughan Williams. He won the Foli Prize and the Tagore Gold Medal. During his RCM period he was also active in musical performance, both as conductor and timpanist.
From 1925-1935 he taught on the faculty of the Royal College of Music while conducting the Oxford Orchestral Society and their associated children's concerts. He also initiated a chamber orchestra series in London which gave premieres of works by Constant Lambert, William Walton, Patrick Hadley and Gavin Gordon. Warrack conducted at the Lyric Hammersmith and assisted Adrian Boult in an opera season at the Royal Court Theatre.
From 1935-1946 he was principal conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, leading over 1,500 broadcasts by them and giving European premieres of works by Aaron Copland, George Frederick McKay and Daniel Gregory Mason, as well as reviving neglected repertoire. Warrack also conducted many orchestras in London and the rest of the UK. From 1948-1951 he was conductor for the Sadler's Wells Theatre Ballet where he conducted the premieres of Selina (1947), Harlequin in April (1951), and other works, later arranging the music of Fauré for La Fête étrange in 1958.
He provided music for documentary films including The Last Shot (1945), A Defeated People (1946), Here is the Gold Coast (1947), XIVTH Olympiad - The Glory of Sport (1948), Down to the Sea (1948), The Story of Time (1950), A Queen is Crowned (1953) and The Sky is Ours (1956).
In his commitment to contemporary British music, and in his capacity of Chair of the Composers' Guild, Warrack wrote to the London Symphony Orchestra in 1952 acknowledging their "shining example" in this area, and bemoaning the lack of interest in other UK musical organizations.
He was the author of Sherlock Holmes and Music (Faber & Faber 1947) and Royal College of Music, the first eighty-five years, 1883-1968 and beyond (RCM, 1977).
His first marriage was to Jacynth Ellerton. Their two children were John Warrack the music writer and critic, and Julia Mary. His second marriage was to Valentine Jeffery, who had trained as a dancer under Ninette de Valois. Their two children were Nigel  and Giles.
- Variations for Orchestra (1924)
- Symphony in C minor (1932)
- Fugal Blues
- Waltzes - Das Strassmädchen and Der Mandelbaum
- Divertimento pasticciato
- Mitchell , Anne (1993), "The People of Calton Hill", pp. 105-106 Mercat Press, James Thin, Edinburgh, ISBN 1-873644-18-3
- Brook, Donald. Conductors' Gallery. Rockcliff, Londond 1946, p140-142 ['Guy Warrack'].
- Guy Warrack, Scotland on Air wiki
- Oxford Index entry for Guy Warrack accessed 27 February 2020.
- BFI Archive entry for Guy Warrack accessed 27 February 2020.
- Morrison, Richard. Orchestra the LSO: a century of triumph and turbulence. Faber & Faber Ltd, London, 2005, p102-103.
- Worldcat entry for Guy Warrack accessed 27 February 2020.