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Classical Composers A-Z: Charles Hubert Parry

Peter Wintersgill presents a brief portrait of Charles Hubert Parry, composer of choral works and Director of the Royal College of Music.

Born
27th February, 1848, in Bournemouth.

Adolescence
Studied at Oxford with Sterndale Bennett and MacFarren.


Adult Life
Spent three years in business from 1871. His early works were choral, e.g. Prometheus Unbound (1880), Blest Pair of Sirens (1887) and Job (1892).

He succeeded Sir George Grove as Director of Royal College of Music in 1894, was appointed Professor of Music at Oxford in 1900, was knighted in 1898, became a baronet in 1903.

He was a leading academic, whose main interest was Bach, about whom he wrote a book. From this time he was recognised as a leading British composer. He was a prolific composer in every field; thus he wrote five symphonies, incidental music for three plays, more than 100 songs, as well as sundry organ and chamber works.

However his most important contributions were his choral works, e.g. I Was Glad (1902) for Edward VH's coronation, Songs of Farewell (1919) and Jerusalem (1916).

He played a considerable part in the revival of interest in English music.

He died 7th October, 1918, in Rustington, Sussex, aged 70.

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