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Roger Quilter

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Biography

Roger Quilter (1 November 1877 – 21 September 1953), was an English composer.

Born in Hove, Sussex, Quilter was a younger son of Sir William Quilter, 1st Baronet, who was a noted art collector. Quilter was educated at Eton College, later becoming a fellow-student of Percy Grainger, Cyril Scott and Henry Balfour Gardiner at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt. He belonged to the Frankfurt Group, a circle of composers who studied at the Hoch Conservatory in the late 1890s. His reputation in England rests largely on his songs and on his light music for orchestra, such as his Children’s Overture, with its interwoven nursery rhyme tunes, and a suite of music for the play “Where the Rainbow Ends”. He is noted as an influence on several English composers, including Peter Warlock.

Roger Quilter’s output of songs, more than one hundred in total, added to the canon of English art song that is still sung today. Among the most popular are “Love’s Philosophy”, “Come Away Death”, “Weep You No More”, “By the Sea”, and his setting of “O Mistress Mine”. Quilter’s setting of verses from the Tennyson poem “Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal” is one of his earliest songs but is nonetheless characteristic of the later, mature style.

In November 1936, Quilter’s opera Julia was presented at Covent Garden by the British Music Drama Opera Company under the direction of Vladimir Rosing.

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