Highgate composer’s movie soundtrack for Oscar Wilde film enters Classic FM Hall of Fame

A composer who writes musical scores for Hollywood films and BAFTA-winning dramas is the only woman to be included in this year’s Classic FM Hall of Fame.

Debbie Wiseman, who lives in Highgate with her husband, was honoured alongside classical music greats such as Tchaikovsky, Beethoven and Mozart by Classic FM listeners on Good Friday.

Of the hundreds of scores she has composed for film and television, it was her award-winning soundtrack for Wilde, the 1997 biographical film about flamboyant poet and author Oscar Wilde, that classical music lovers picked as one of their top 300 scores.

Mrs Wiseman took to Twitter to express her delight at being voted into the Hall of Fame, tweeting: “Very excited to make my debut in @ClassicFM’s #HallofFame –thank you SO much to everyone who voted :).”

National treasure Stephen Fry, perfectly cast as Wilde, stars alongside Hollywood heavyweights Jude Law and Vanessa Redgrave in the film. But despite its A-list credentials, the picture did not pick up many gongs in the 1997 awards season, and received a prestigious Ivor Novello nomination for Mrs Wiseman’s score.


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On Classic FM’s website, listener Neil MacPherson called the piece, “one of the best film scores ever written”.

Mrs Wiseman has composed a score for televised film A Poet In New York about Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, to be broadcast on BBC2 next month, and for countless documentaries, including Stephen Fry in America, Joanna Lumley’s Nile and Michael Palin’s New Europe.

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She also wrote the soundtrack for films such as Tom’s Midnight Garden and Tom and Viv.

Dozens of film soundtracks made it into the list of listeners’ favourite pieces of classic music, including scores for Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and Saving Private Ryan.

More surprising was the large amount of music from video games that made it into this year’s list, with the score from Japanese role-playing game Final Fantasy voted into the top 10.

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