Peter Allen, film composer, Vancouver

“For any composer, Robert Turner is a great man not only for his wit and humour, but quite simply, for his music.  A true talent who could hear music and then write it out accurately, the same way Beethoven did.

On another note (ha ha) I was always amused by the fact that whenever I showed him some music that I had written out, the first thing he did was to give me a lecture on which way the stems were supposed to go … up or down, depending on where the note was in the staff, and of course several minutes were always spent discussing notes that were on the middle line, because of course this was the “glass half full” dilemma.  So I was always amused by the fact that Dr. Turner was so obsessed with note stem health, but this all happened again later in Hollywood.  When I went to Hollywood and studied music at USC, Fred Steiner, a wonderful composer and orchestrator, did the same bloody thing.  Here’s a guy who was working with Steven Spielberg that year composing music for the “Amazing Stories” series, and when I showed him my first piece of music, he immediately launched into a discussion of which way the stems should go on the staff!!  I asked him if he knew Dr. Robert Turner, you guys have something in common besides terrific talent …. what’s with the note stem thing?”