Author Topic: The International Studio Orchestra  (Read 502 times)


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The International Studio Orchestra
« on: January 16, 2020, 08:31:14 AM »
Hi everybody !

Does anyone know where the INTERNATIONAL STUDIO ORCHESTRA recorded most of their contributions to the De Wolfe releases ? It's crazy how all these musicians remain lost in total anonymity... The De Wolfe Wikipedia page does not mention anything special about this.

Thanks for all the infos you could provide about them.


Amateur musician, teacher and Instagram photographer. I sing and play guitar in Rosalyn and The View Electrical. From Lausanne, Switzerland.


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Re: The International Studio Orchestra
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2020, 03:32:13 PM »
Thames probably knows ;)

I think a lot of it was recorded in Hilversum, at least the early stuff, while the later material was recorded at De Wolfe's own studio(s) at Wardour Street, London. I wouldn't be surprised if the name was actually used for more than one group of musicians, either.


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Re: The International Studio Orchestra
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2020, 07:18:25 AM »
As much as I'd like to know more about the various studio orchestras for record labels, it's shockingly hard to find any information. Even the antics of the Wrecking Crew in the US shows how many musicians cycled in and out with information missing from the work cards amidst the sheer number of anonymous backings of hit songs. I can only imagine the record keeping for library music labels.

Though the International Studio Orchestra seems to have been part of the old guard of library music as described in this bit about KPM's Group Forty Orchestra which performed similar material.

That was 1967. The whole business of library music was changing. A new style was coming in. And the man largely responsible for bringing those changes about was Robin Phillips. When Keith Mansfield first arrived in the copyists' office in 1964, Robin Phillips was the post boy. His father ran the company and Robin was working his way up from the bottom. In those days, library music was mostly light orchestral music or trad jazz.

Adrian Kerridge, who engineered most of Phillips' jaunts to the continent from the late sixties on, remembers Robin's predecessor bringing the Ted Heath Band in to Landsdowne Studio, the Holland Park recording house where Kerridge used to work as an assistant to Joe Meek. The silken strings of tracks like 'Limelight Waltz' and 'Pink Fizz' by The Group-Forty Orchestra, KPM's other stalwarts in the late 50s and early 60s, sound like another world, sepia-toned and chalk-striped. "It was a good library," as Mansfield said, "but it was second division." All that was about to change.

I have Mood Modern book on order which hopefully may shed some light on pre-1965 library music material.

But studio orchestras seems to be part of the older trends, maybe part of the early catalog released on 78s such as:

De Wolfe - International Studio Orchestra

KPM - Group Forty Orchestra, Group Five Players, Group Ten Players, etc.

Synchro - Grosvenor Studio Orchestra, Paris Studio Orchestra

Brull - Harmonic Studio Orchestra, C Brull Dance Orchestra

Southern - Westway Studio Orchestra

Bosworth - Bosworth Orchestra, International Radio Orchestra

Chappell - Queen's Light Hall Orchestra

Boosey and Hawkes - New Concert Orchestra

Pre-60s library music is niche upon niche, it seems to be.

Lord Thames

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Re: The International Studio Orchestra
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2020, 10:14:04 PM »
Some of these library orchestras were European radio station orchestras under pseudonyms - Bosworth and Impress used Kurt Rehfeld's orchestra in Stuttgart, Chappell's Melodi Light Orchestra was the Danish State Radio Orchestra, and Southern used Fernand Terby's orchestra in Brussels.

Dolf Van Der Linden's Metropole Orchestra was also known as the Grosvenor Studio Orchestra on Synchro, The New Concert Orchestra conducted by Nat Nyll on Boosey and Hawkes, and went under their own name on Paxton.

I reckon Mr's probably right about the ISO being Dutch to start with, and British later on.