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Classical Composers A-Z: Herbert Howells

Peter Wintersgill presents a brief portrait of Herbert Howells, a professor of music and composer of the well-known work Hymnus Paradisi.

Born
17th October, 1892, at Lydney, Gloucester.

Adolescence
Studied with Brewer at Gloucester 1905 – 1911, then at the Royal College of Music with Stanford 1912 – 1916.

Adult Life
On the staff of the Royal College of Music from 1920 until his death. Appointed Professor of Music at London University in 1954 and succeeded Gustav Holst as Director of Music at St. Paul’s Girls’ School in 1936.

Most of his music was in the English choral tradition of Elgar, Walton and Vaughan Williams. His best known work is Hymnus Paradisi (1938). Also well known is Missa Sabrinensis (1953).

Most of his music was in the English choral tradition of Elgar, Walton and Vaughan Williams. His best known work is Hymnus Paradisi (1938). Also well known is Miss Sabrinensis (1953).

Among other choral works are 15 anthems, various masses and motets. He also wrote songs and organ music.

Honours include the CBE in 1954 and CH in 1972.

He died on 23rd February, 1983, in Oxford, aged 91.

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