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Rutland Boughton

(1878—1960) composer


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(b Aylesbury, 1878; d London, 1960).

Eng. composer. Early orch. works perf. 1901 and 1902. From 1904 to 1911 on staff of Birmingham Midland Institute of Mus. Choral work, Midnight (1907), perf. Birmingham Fest. 1909. Inspired by Wagner's theory of mus. drama, conceived idea of an Eng. Bayreuth at Glastonbury for perf. of series of ‘choral dramas’, based on the Arthurian legends, by himself, with Reginald Buckley as librettist. First fest. held 1914 when his The Immortal Hour (1912–13) was perf. In 1916 his Bethlehem (1915) and parts of The Birth of Arthur (1908–9) were perf. In 1920 the Glastonbury Players perf. The Immortal Hour and other works at the Old Vic, London, preceding f.p. at Glastonbury in Aug. of the complete Birth of Arthur and The Round Table (1915–16). In 1922 his Alkestis (1920–2), a 3‐act setting of Gilbert Murray's trans. of Euripides, was perf. at Glastonbury and, in 1926, The Queen of Cornwall (1923–4), based on Hardy's verse‐play. Greatest success came in 1922 with the long London run of Birmingham Repertory Th.'s prod. of The Immortal Hour, with Gwen Ffrangçon‐Davies. Alkestis was prod. CG 1924. In 1934 The Lily Maid (1933–4) was prod. in London. In 1943–4 Boughton wrote the mus. drama Galahad, followed in 1944–5 by Avalon. Also comp. 3 syms. (1904–5, 1926–7, 1937); 2 ob. concs. with str. (1936, 1937); fl. conc. with str. (1937); tpt. conc. (1943); vc. concertante (1955); vn. sonata (1921); 2 str. qts. (1923); 2 ob. qts. (1932, 1945); pf. trio (1948); vc. sonata (1948); and many songs and part‐songs. His daughter Joy (1913–63) was a talented oboist.

Subjects: Music.


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