Arthur Oswald Dulay. (1891-1971)

Welcome to the Arthur Dulay web site. Dedicated to famous British silent film accompanist, pianist, composer and conductor Arthur Oswald Dulay.

The Dream of Olwen.

Charles Williams and his Concert Orchestra. Arthur Dulay (Piano). Rec 10/9/47.

From the film "While I Live"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The London Caprice.

Orchestra and Arthur Dulay (Piano).

The Jealous Lover.

 Charles Williams and his Concert Orchestra. Arthur Dulay (Piano). Rec 12/4/49.

The Quebec Concerto.

 Orchestra and Arthur Dulay (Piano). Rec 1947. From the film "Whispering City"

Radio Interview

with Arthur Dulay regarding silent film accompaniments.

Arthur Dulay Compilation.

One and a half hour's of some of Arthur's most interesting recordings with narration.

Silent film music.

One    Two    Three

Birth Of A Nation.

 One    Two    Three

The Melody Is There.

Thirty minute national radio program from the 1940's featuring Arthur Dulay, his quintet and other soloists.

Dear Heavenly Father.

Sung by Cathy Dulay accompanied by Arthur on Piano.

Arthur & Cameo Orchestra 1930's.

Hear the piece "The Waltz of the Gypsies"

Arthur in the 1943 film

"King Of The Keyboard"

Princess Margaret opening the "Telecinema" National Film Theatre in 1952.

Arthur with Eric Von Stroheim 1950's.

Click to watch the silent film chase compilation "Keep Moving" Produced in 1964 with music composed and played by Arthur.

Click the photo to see a short film extract of Arthur playing at the Biograph Cinema Victoria London 1955.

Click below to hear concertina player Alf Edwards accompanied by Arthur Dulay.

"Mitzi"       "Bat's at Sunset"       "Tarantella"       "Tarantella Abbruzzese & Bel Fiore"

Click these links to download the printable music for "Bel Fiore" & "Bat's at Sunset"

Above Arthur in later years accompanying a silent film.

A recent find on an old Boosey & Hawes Ltd 1950's 78rpm disc features Jay Wilbur (Click to read an article about Jay Wilbur by Barry McCana) and his string Ensemble, with Arthur as the Piano soloist. The record contains "Peacock Pie" (Armstrong Gibbs) The Huntsman, The Sunken Garden, The Ride-by-Nights and "Moto Perpetuo" (Lotter)

Click here to listen to side A or here for side B. These recordings are in MP3 format for wider compatibility.

Click here to view Arthur's musical suggestions for the silent film "Sea Fury" 1929.

Arthur Dulay was born in Fulham in 1891 and first played the piano in public when he was 6. He went on to study under Coleridge Taylor at the Guildhall School of music in London and was a student alongside Sir Thomas Beecham. Unfortunately his studies were cut short due to lack of funds, but he began a successful career as an accompanist of silent films at the age of 16, and played from a repertoire of over 7000 pieces at the Avenue Pavilion Cinema in Shaftsbury Avenue London, where he had his own orchestra and was musical director. On the arrival of the talkies in the late 1920's he moved to the BBC, and continued his career appearing in over 2000 broadcasts up until 1952 with his quintet and cameo orchestra. Arthur then moved to the newly opened National Film Theatre as musical director where he remained until his retirement, accompanying great silent films like Buster Keaton's "The General". Arthur was married twice and his widow Cathy (now remarried) has kindly given permission for this web page to be produced in memory of him. Arthur died peacefully at his home in Huddersfield on the 18th June 1971 aged 79. Arthur has a large discography and some of his recordings can be found on this site, more will be made available as time and space permits. To listen to the recordings on this page you will need REAL PLAYER, this can be downloaded by clicking the link. I am always looking for more information on Arthur and his recordings so do not hesitate to contact me with questions or information.

Memories of Arthur Dulay by John Woodhall

My first meeting with Arthur and his family was in March, 1963 at afternoon tea in their Mortlake home.  I was seated in the music room by the baby grand piano in conversation with other members of his family.  When Arthur entered the room, he greeted everyone in such a courteous way and I immediately sensed that I was in the presence of someone very special.  His apparel and stature was almost regal.  After tea, I remember Arthur played an Etude in A flat major by Chopin followed by some pieces from Kinderscenen by Schumann.  That was the first time I had heard the piano played so beautifully and I was captivated by music for life. During September of that year, my musical career began.  In the first place, I had piano and singing lessons with Arthurís wife Cathy.  During the first year of lessons, she encouraged me and helped me develop a schedule for daily practise.  The following year, I began lessons with Arthur.  He began to build my technique by practising studies, pieces and scales in various forms.  He was a great technician but not at the expense of musicianship and making a beautiful sound on the piano. Lessons with Arthur were punctuated with many anecdotes about people he had known and worked with.  He studied with Coleridge Taylor and Busoni and had won many prizes at the Guildhall.  I remember him talking about the time he accompanied the famous Belgian violinist Ysaye.  He had known Sir Thomas Beecham and Sir Malcolm Sergeant too.  On top of the piano, he kept a photo of his Quintet and sometimes talked about his broadcasts at the BBC. On numerous occasions, I went to the National Film Theatre to hear him accompany silent films.  His ability to improvise music was second to none.  He instantly responded to film scenes and set an appropriate mood of pathos, love, action or humour.  He had a unique rapport with his audience.  At the end of each film he arose in the spotlight and courteously bowed to acknowledge the appreciative applause. After a few months tuition, he entered me for a Junior Exhibitionerís place at the Royal College of Music.  After four years at the RCM, I began a full-time course at Trinity College of Music. As far as I know, I was Arthurís only pupil during his late years.  It is to him and his wife Cathy that I owe my career playing, teaching and composing.

This site is under construction. Enjoy these performances. Peter Perkins 10th March 2007.

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