Francis Monkman

Francis Monkman (born 9 June 1949, in Hampstead, North London, England) is an English rock, classical and film score composer, and a founding member of both the progressive rock band Curved Air and the classical/rock fusion band Sky. He is the son of Kenneth Monkman, an authority on the writer Laurence Sterne, and of Vita née Duncombe Mann.

Francis Monkman
Birth nameAnthony Francis Keigwin Monkman
Born (1949-06-09) 9 June 1949 (age 72)
Hampstead, North London, England
GenresProgressive rock, classical music
Occupation(s)Songwriter, musician, film score composer
InstrumentsKeyboards, guitar
Years active1960s–present
Associated actsCurved Air, Sky, 801, Al Stewart, Renaissance, The Shadows, Elton John.


Monkman was a pupil at Westminster School where he studied organ and harpsichord, later studying at the Royal Academy of Music, winning the Raymond Russell prize for virtuosity on the harpsichord and becoming a member of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.

In the late 1960s he founded the rock band Sisyphus, which evolved into the pioneering band Curved Air. He played on their first three albums, leaving after the release of Phantasmagoria (1972) and returning briefly for the tour which resulted in the release of the album Live (1975).

He contributed to the Renaissance album Prologue (1972), worked with Al Stewart including contributing to the album Past, Present and Future (1973) as well as Lynsey de Paul on her Surprise album and toured with The Shadows on their 20 Golden Greats Tour (1977). Also in 1977, he collaborated with Phil Manzanera and Brian Eno on the project 801. In 1978, he played all keyboards on Brian Bennett's solo album Voyage.

In the late 1970s, he recorded music for television.

In 1978, together with guitarist John Williams he founded the classical/rock music fusion band called Sky, with which he stayed until 1980.

In 1980, he resumed classical performances and recordings including the soundtrack to the British film, The Long Good Friday. The album Energism included the electronic "Achievements of Man", from which extracts were used as the theme to the BBC programme Think Again.[1] In 1981 a new album was released, Dweller on the Threshold, with Andy Latimer (guitar).

He also composed the piece "Current Affairs", used by Channel 4 as the introduction to their "Engineering Announcements" segment, provided by the IBA.[2]

Instruments (career)Edit

Francis Monkman played guitar as well as keyboards in Curved Air, switching between them when playing live. According to the sleeve notes for the second Sky album, Sky 2 he also played additional guitar parts on his composition "FIFO", alongside John Williams and Kevin Peek.

  • 1977-1978: (tour with The Shadows)


  • Energism (1980)
  • The Long Good Friday Soundtrack (1981)
  • Dweller on the Threshold (1981)
  • 21st Century Blues (2001)
  • Jam (2003)
  • A Harpsichord Sampler (2003)


  1. ^ "Think Again clip". YouTube. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  2. ^ "Private Parts". Retrieved 5 June 2011.

External linksEdit