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Classical Composers A-Z: Constant Lambert

Peter Wintersgill introduces us to Constant Lambert, a brilliant composer and conductor who was only 46 when he died.

Born
23rd August, 1905, in London

Adolescence
Studied at the Royal College of Music with Vaughan Williams

Adult Life
He was a brilliant composer and conductor of ballet. His first ballet was Romeo and Juliet (1926), commissioned by Diaghilev, and was a great success. Ballet was really his forte. He helped get it established in this country. He orchestrated Vaughan Williamsís ballet Job. He wrote Horoscope (1938) for the Vic Wells ballet, which he founded and directed.

He was influenced by jazz, especially that of Duke Ellington.

Choral works include the masque Summerís Last Will and Testament (1935) and The Rio Grande (1929) for piano, contralto, chorus and orchestra, perhaps his best known work.

He also wrote a book, Music Ho! (1934), a commentary on the decline of contemporary music.

He died 21st August, 1951, in London, aged 46.

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