Discover New Music

Last.fm is a music discovery service that gives you personalised recommendations based on the music you play.

Start your Last.fm profile Close window

Havergal Brian

Tags

Everyone’s tags

More tags

Biography

William (Havergal) Brian (1876–1972), was an English composer.

William Brian (he adopted the name “Havergal” from a local family of hymn-writers) was born on 29th January 1876 in Dresden, a district of Stoke-on-Trent, and was one of a very small number of composers to come from the English working class. After attending an elementary school he had difficulty finding any congenial work, and taught himself the rudiments of music. For a time he was organist of Odd Rode Church just across the border in Cheshire. In 1895, he heard a choir rehearsing Edward Elgar’s King Olaf, attended the first performance, and became a fervent enthusiast of the new music being produced by Richard Strauss and the British composers of the day. Through attending music festivals he made the lifelong friendship of his near-contemporary composer Granville Bantock.

In 1907 his first English Suite attracted the attention of Henry Wood who performed it at the London Proms. It was an overnight success, and Brian obtained a publisher and performances for his next few orchestral works. Why he never succeeded in maintaining his success is a matter for debate, but it was probably due to his shyness with strangers and lack of confidence on public occasions. Whatever it was, the offers of performance soon dried up.

Top Albums

Listening Trend

2,325listeners all time
18,099scrobbles all time
Recent listeners trend:

Start scrobbling and track your listening history

Last.fm users scrobble the music they play in iTunes, Spotify, Rdio and over 200 other music players.

Create a Last.fm profile

Shoutbox

Leave a comment. Log in to Last.fm or sign up.

Top Listeners