Alan Civil was born in 1929 and died in 1989. Alan started to play the French horn as a young boy, and joined an army band as a teenager. He studied the horn with Aubrey Brain, the father of Dennis Brain, and played second horn to Dennis Brain in the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, taking over as principal horn when Dennis Brain left. In 1955 Alan joined the Philharmonia as principal horn, and in 1966 he became the principal horn of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, where he remained until he retired in 1988. He also performed as a soloist and recordings include Mozart's 'Four Horn Concertos' and Benjamin Britten's 'Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings' with Robert Tear. He was also a member of the Alan Civil Horn Trio, taught at the Royal College of Music and was awarded an OBE in 1985. Alan was also a prolific composer and arranger, writing many pieces for the horn as well as for an array of unusual instrument combinations.