Film and TV composer Debbie Wiseman is one of the 12 composers chosen to write music for the Coronation of King Charles. Here's all you need to know about the life and work of this acclaimed composer.


Who is Debbie Wiseman?

Debbie Wiseman OBE is a British composer for film and television, known also as a conductor and a radio and television presenter. Her many film and TV composing credits include Wilde, Tom's Midnight Garden, Wolf Hall, Judge John Deed and The Inspector Lynley Mysteries.

She is also one of the composers who have been asked to write music for the Coronation of King Charles.

Read more of our Coronation composers series:

How old is Debbie Wiseman?

Debbie Wiseman was born on 10 May 1963 in London.

Where did she study?

Wiseman studied at Trinity College of Music Junior Department, and she later studied piano and composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama under tutors James Gibb and Buxton Orr.

Composer Debbie Wiseman and Prince Charles
Debbie Wiseman receives an honorary Fellowship award from Prince Charles during his visit to the Royal College of Music in London on March 3, 2020. Pic: Getty

What films has Debbie Wiseman composed for?

Debbie Wiseman's film scoring credits include the music for 1994's Tom and Viv, which was nominated for two Academy Awards. She also wrote the music for the 1997 film Wilde, all about the poet and playwright Oscar Wilde, which was nominated for Best Original Film Score at that year's Ivor Novello Awards.

Other film composing credits include Tom's Midnight Garden, The Guilty, Before You Go, and Arsène Lupin, which won Best Score for a Foreign language film and was nominated for Score of the Year at 2005's Movie Music UK Awards.

She's also scored music for horror (Flood, nominated for Best Score for a Horror/Thriller at the International Film Music Critics Association Awards, 2007) and comedy (Lesbian Vampire Killers, nominated for Best Score for a Comedy, IFMCA Awards, 2009).

What TV programmes has she written music for?

Wiseman has written music for a host of acclaimed TV programmes. These include Wolf Hall (2015) and The Promise (nominated for Best Drama Serial, BAFTA Awards, 2011). She's also penned the music for detective and crime dramas including Father Brown, Judge John Deed and The Inspector Lynley Mysteries.

Debbie has also carved out a successful career scoring TV travel programmes including Joanna Lumley's Nile, Stephen Fry in America and Michael Palin's New Europe.

Last but not least, did you know that Debbie Wiseman composed 'Current Affairs', the theme music for The Andrew Marr Show?

What has Debbie Wiseman written for the Coronation?

Debbie Wiseman has composed a two-part piece, ‘Alleluia (O Clap your Hands)’ and ‘Alleluia (O Sing Praises)’, for the Coronation. ‘O Clap Your Hands’ will be sung by the expanded Westminster Abbey Choir, while ‘O Sing Praises’ will be performed by The Ascension Choir, the first gospel choir to sing at a Coronation.

Did Debbie Wiseman write 'Elizabeth Remembered'?

Debbie Wiseman was commissioned to write a piece of music for the official coverage of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The piece, entitled 'Elizabeth Remembered', proved very popular with viewers. Performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra with Debbie conducting, it was released as a single by Silva Screen Records, with all proceeds going to The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust.

Has Debbie Wiseman written music for the Royal Family before?

Yes. She also wrote music for Her Late Majesty’s Diamond and Platinum Jubilees, as well as her 90th Birthday Celebrations at Windsor Castle.


When was Debbie Wiseman made an OBE?

Debbie was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in Queen Elizabeth II's 2004 New Year Honours, for her services to the film industry. She was then made Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2018 Birthday Honours.


Steve Wright
Steve WrightMulti-Platform Content Producer, BBC Music Magazine

Steve has been an avid listener of classical music since childhood, and now contributes a variety of features to BBC Music’s magazine and website. He started writing about music as Arts Editor of an Oxford University student newspaper and has continued ever since, serving as Arts Editor on various magazines.