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George Percy Aldridge  Grainger

Born: July 8th, 1882
Died: February 20th, 1961
Country of origin: Australia
Percy Aldridge Grainger was born on 8 July 1882 in Brighton, Victoria (Australia), to the renowned architect John H. Grainger. His musical talent showed when he was only a young boy. Aged twelve, he went on his first concert tour as a pianist. In 1895, he travelled to Europe where he studied piano and composition at the Dr. Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt for four years.

Between 1901 and 1914 he lived in London, where he gradually gained fame as a composer and piano virtuoso. His co-operation with Schott started in 1911, when the increasing recognition of his works manifested itself through performances in London Queen's Hall and the Aeolien Hall, for instance. In these days his friendship with the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg developed. Grieg's devotion to the music of his country inspired Grainger to occupy himself with English folk music. With a phonograph he collected numerous examples of English folk music, which he later linked into his own compositions. Also, in these days, his close friendships with composers like Frederic Delius, Cyril Scott or with personalities of English music life like Herman Sanby and Balfour Gardiner developed.

In 1914, Grainger and his mother moved to the United States, where he lived until his death. Although he always saw and called himself an Australian, he became an American citizen and, for a short time, a member of the US Army Bands.

After the First World War Grainger continued his concert tours and lectures, which also led him back to Australia from time to time. In the 1930's he laid the foundation stone of the Grainger Museum at Melbourne University. In 1928, he married the Swedish artist Ella Viola Strom. Grainger also increasingly dedicated himself to the research and the publication of medieval music and the music of foreign cultures. Towards the end of his life, he worked on methods of carrying out "free music", i.e. music without any restrictions of time or determined intervals. Together with scientist Burnett Cross he developed the so-called "Free Music Machines", which were the predecessors of modern electronic synthesizers.

Percy Alridge Grainger died on 20 February 1961 in New York and was buried in his family's grave in Adelaide, South Australia.


The International Percy Grainger Society

1882
Born on 8 July 1882 in Brighton, near Melbourne
1888
Moves to Melbourne. Starts taking daily piano lessons
1890
His family leaves the family after a voyage to London
1892
Studies piano with Louis Pabst
1894
Briefly attends school (his only formal schooling). Gives first public piano recital
1895
Moves to Europe to continue studies in piano and composition at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt
1898

Begins his Kipling 'Jungle Book' Cycle composed 'as a protest against civilization'

1899
Starts to compose the five works (completed in 1901, later revised) eventually published in 1950 as Youthful Suite; begins to teach piano in Frankfurt
1901
Moves to London, where he soon starts performing
Completes Youthful Rapture (originally A Lot of Rot) and Love Verses from 'The Song of Solomon'; commences Marching Song of Democracy, inspired by Whitman
1902
First studies the music of Debussy.
Arranges Irish Tune from County Derry for unaccompanied mixed chorus; completes initial setting of Hill Song No. 1
1903
Meets and plays before Ferruccio Busoni, in London, who offers to teach him without charge.  Subsequently studies with Busoni in Berlin.
1905
Hears Lucy Broadwood's lecture about collecting folksongs, which rekindles his earlier interest in folk music; joins the Folk-Song Society and begins collecting Lincolnshire folk tunes.
1906
Meets Edvard Grief, initiating a close friendship.
First uses phonograph to record folksongs.
1907
Meets Delius in London.
Sets Molly on the Shore for string quartet
1908
Meets Debussy, whom he finds 'a little spitting wild animal'
His controversial 100-page article 'Collecting with the Phonograph' appears in the Journal of the Folk-Song Society; makes the first gramphone recordings of short passages by Grieg, Liszt and Stanford.
1909
Comes in contact with Polynesian music, in New Zealand, and claims the South Seas as a potential 'second Scandinavia' for him musically.
Completes Father and Daughter setting of Faroe Islands music.
1910
Meets Richard Strauss in London, who programmes some of Grainger's pieces in Germany in 1911.
1911
Comes to know Elgar, Beecham and Rodin.
Changes his professional name to Percy Aldridge Grainger.
Completes initial setting of Shepherd's Hey.
Schott (London) starts to publish his compositions.
1912
English Dance is premièred in London by Beecham; visits an ethnographic museum in Leiden, Holland, where his interest in south-east Asian percussion instruments is aroused. Completes Handel in the Strand.
1913
Conducts Shepherd’s Hey and Irish Tune at a Promenade concert in London.
1914
Moves from London to Kent, then to USA amid accusations of cowardice and failure to face up to his patriotic duty.
1916
Première of In a Nutshell orchestral suite.
Completes The Warriors: Music to an Imaginary Ballet, dedicated to Delius.
1917
His father dies in Melbourne.
Joins US army as a military musician.
1918
Becomes an American citizen.
Completes Country Gardens, based on a Morris Dance tune collected by Cecil Sharp.
Completes Children’s March: Over the Hills and Far Away, for band.
1919
Discharged from the US Army
1920
First attempts at ‘elastic scoring’ with an arrangement of Irish Tune.
Undertakes long concert tours of the American Far West.
1921
>Moves to 7 Cromwell Place, White Plains, New York (now The Grainger Library)
Rescores a number of his early works.
1922
Mother commits suicide in New York; many sensational press reports follow. 
Première of The Bride’s Tragedyat Evanston Festival.
Travels to Scandinavia to collect Danish folk music.
1928
Marries Ella
Première of To a Nordic Princess.
Completes initial setting of his Danish Folk-Music Suite.
1929
Writes Preface to Spoon River, outlining his views on ‘elastic scoring’ and orchestration in general.
1932
Takes first steps towards building a museum at the University of Melbourne.
Takes a teaching post at New York University.
1934
Learns of the death of Delius, a long time friend. 
Premiere of experimental Free Music No. 1
1937
Writes Lincolnshire Posy.
1938
Appears in concert before President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the White House.
Official opening of the Grainger Museum in Melbourne.
1939
Completes ‘The Duke of Marlborough’ Fanfare, subtitled ‘British War Mood Grows’, and The Immovable Do. 
Begins glossary of his ‘Nordic English’.
1940
Move temporarily to Springfield, Missouri, as a war-time base.
1941
Travels widely giving many concerts for the Red Cross and troops (to 1945).
1942
Première of his Kipling ‘Jungle Book’ Cycle (incomplete).
1943
Completes orchestral version of The Power of Rome and the Christian Heart.
1945
Comes to know the scientist Burnett Cross, with whom he soon starts to work on his ‘Free Music’ experiments.
Collaborates with Stokowski in Hollywood Bowl performance of Grieg piano concerto, In a Nutshell suite and Suite on Danish Folk Songs.
1946
Première of Youthful Suite.
1948
Last formal concert tour in America.
Performs Danish Folk Music Suite at a Promenade Concert in London.
1954
Awarded St Olav medal for services to Norwegian music by the King of Norway.
1955
Returns to work at his museum in Melbourne, returning to the United States in June 1956.
1957
Health starts to decline.
1958
Meets Benjamin Britten in the UK and Stockhausen in New York.
1960
Undertakes final work on ‘Free Music’ machines.
1961
Dies in White Plains, NY. Buried in Adelaide.

Gallery

per page
  1. Colonial Song

    Colonial Song

    version for two voices and piano or piano alone
    Download Edition
    Instrumentation : soprano, tenor and piano or piano alone
    Edition : score, This edition can be used as additional vocal scores for the other versions of Colonial Song
    Language : vocalise
    Order No. : ED 12525 Q6181
    €9.99  *
  2. Free Settings of Favourite Melodies

    Free Settings of Favourite Melodies

    Download Edition
    Instrumentation : piano
    Order No. : ED 12778 Q6204
    €12.99  *
  3. Colonial Song

    Colonial Song

    Download Edition
    Instrumentation : organ
    Order No. : ED 12897 Q6328
    €6.99  *
  4. Harvest Hymn

    Harvest Hymn

    for Violin and Piano
    Download Edition
    Instrumentation : violin and piano
    Order No. : ED 12559 Q21635
    €7.99  *
  5. Molly on the Shore

    Molly on the Shore

    British Folk-Music Settings No. 1 (Revised Edition)
    Download Edition
    Instrumentation : string quartet
    Edition : score and parts
    Order No. : ED 13808 Q25906
    €16.99  *
  6. English Waltz

    English Waltz

    Download Edition
    Instrumentation : piano
    Order No. : BDE 30 Q40472
    €15.99  *
  7. Early One Morning

    Early One Morning

    Download Edition
    Instrumentation : mixed choir (SATB) a capella
    Edition : choral score
    Order No. : BDE 13 Q40473
    €5.99  *
  8. Prelude in G

    Prelude in G

    Download Edition
    Instrumentation : Piano
    Order No. : BDE 907 Q40474
    €11.99  *
  9. O Mistress Mine

    O Mistress Mine

    Download Edition
    Composer : Morley, Thomas
    Instrumentation : gemischter Chor (SATB)
    Edition : choral score
    Order No. : BDE 576 Q40476
    €0.99  *
  10. Under a Bridge

    Under a Bridge

    Download Edition
    Instrumentation : soprano, baritone and piano
    Order No. : BDE 652 Q40479
    €15.99  *

per page
Profile
Percy Aldridge Grainger was born on 8 July 1882 in Brighton, Victoria (Australia), to the renowned architect John H. Grainger. His musical talent showed when he was only a young boy. Aged twelve, he went on his first concert tour as a pianist. In 1895, he travelled to Europe where he studied piano and composition at the Dr. Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt for four years.

Between 1901 and 1914 he lived in London, where he gradually gained fame as a composer and piano virtuoso. His co-operation with Schott started in 1911, when the increasing recognition of his works manifested itself through performances in London Queen's Hall and the Aeolien Hall, for instance. In these days his friendship with the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg developed. Grieg's devotion to the music of his country inspired Grainger to occupy himself with English folk music. With a phonograph he collected numerous examples of English folk music, which he later linked into his own compositions. Also, in these days, his close friendships with composers like Frederic Delius, Cyril Scott or with personalities of English music life like Herman Sanby and Balfour Gardiner developed.

In 1914, Grainger and his mother moved to the United States, where he lived until his death. Although he always saw and called himself an Australian, he became an American citizen and, for a short time, a member of the US Army Bands.

After the First World War Grainger continued his concert tours and lectures, which also led him back to Australia from time to time. In the 1930's he laid the foundation stone of the Grainger Museum at Melbourne University. In 1928, he married the Swedish artist Ella Viola Strom. Grainger also increasingly dedicated himself to the research and the publication of medieval music and the music of foreign cultures. Towards the end of his life, he worked on methods of carrying out "free music", i.e. music without any restrictions of time or determined intervals. Together with scientist Burnett Cross he developed the so-called "Free Music Machines", which were the predecessors of modern electronic synthesizers.

Percy Alridge Grainger died on 20 February 1961 in New York and was buried in his family's grave in Adelaide, South Australia.


The International Percy Grainger Society

Works
Chronology
1882
Born on 8 July 1882 in Brighton, near Melbourne
1888
Moves to Melbourne. Starts taking daily piano lessons
1890
His family leaves the family after a voyage to London
1892
Studies piano with Louis Pabst
1894
Briefly attends school (his only formal schooling). Gives first public piano recital
1895
Moves to Europe to continue studies in piano and composition at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt
1898

Begins his Kipling 'Jungle Book' Cycle composed 'as a protest against civilization'

1899
Starts to compose the five works (completed in 1901, later revised) eventually published in 1950 as Youthful Suite; begins to teach piano in Frankfurt
1901
Moves to London, where he soon starts performing
Completes Youthful Rapture (originally A Lot of Rot) and Love Verses from 'The Song of Solomon'; commences Marching Song of Democracy, inspired by Whitman
1902
First studies the music of Debussy.
Arranges Irish Tune from County Derry for unaccompanied mixed chorus; completes initial setting of Hill Song No. 1
1903
Meets and plays before Ferruccio Busoni, in London, who offers to teach him without charge.  Subsequently studies with Busoni in Berlin.
1905
Hears Lucy Broadwood's lecture about collecting folksongs, which rekindles his earlier interest in folk music; joins the Folk-Song Society and begins collecting Lincolnshire folk tunes.
1906
Meets Edvard Grief, initiating a close friendship.
First uses phonograph to record folksongs.
1907
Meets Delius in London.
Sets Molly on the Shore for string quartet
1908
Meets Debussy, whom he finds 'a little spitting wild animal'
His controversial 100-page article 'Collecting with the Phonograph' appears in the Journal of the Folk-Song Society; makes the first gramphone recordings of short passages by Grieg, Liszt and Stanford.
1909
Comes in contact with Polynesian music, in New Zealand, and claims the South Seas as a potential 'second Scandinavia' for him musically.
Completes Father and Daughter setting of Faroe Islands music.
1910
Meets Richard Strauss in London, who programmes some of Grainger's pieces in Germany in 1911.
1911
Comes to know Elgar, Beecham and Rodin.
Changes his professional name to Percy Aldridge Grainger.
Completes initial setting of Shepherd's Hey.
Schott (London) starts to publish his compositions.
1912
English Dance is premièred in London by Beecham; visits an ethnographic museum in Leiden, Holland, where his interest in south-east Asian percussion instruments is aroused. Completes Handel in the Strand.
1913
Conducts Shepherd’s Hey and Irish Tune at a Promenade concert in London.
1914
Moves from London to Kent, then to USA amid accusations of cowardice and failure to face up to his patriotic duty.
1916
Première of In a Nutshell orchestral suite.
Completes The Warriors: Music to an Imaginary Ballet, dedicated to Delius.
1917
His father dies in Melbourne.
Joins US army as a military musician.
1918
Becomes an American citizen.
Completes Country Gardens, based on a Morris Dance tune collected by Cecil Sharp.
Completes Children’s March: Over the Hills and Far Away, for band.
1919
Discharged from the US Army
1920
First attempts at ‘elastic scoring’ with an arrangement of Irish Tune.
Undertakes long concert tours of the American Far West.
1921
>Moves to 7 Cromwell Place, White Plains, New York (now The Grainger Library)
Rescores a number of his early works.
1922
Mother commits suicide in New York; many sensational press reports follow. 
Première of The Bride’s Tragedyat Evanston Festival.
Travels to Scandinavia to collect Danish folk music.
1928
Marries Ella
Première of To a Nordic Princess.
Completes initial setting of his Danish Folk-Music Suite.
1929
Writes Preface to Spoon River, outlining his views on ‘elastic scoring’ and orchestration in general.
1932
Takes first steps towards building a museum at the University of Melbourne.
Takes a teaching post at New York University.
1934
Learns of the death of Delius, a long time friend. 
Premiere of experimental Free Music No. 1
1937
Writes Lincolnshire Posy.
1938
Appears in concert before President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the White House.
Official opening of the Grainger Museum in Melbourne.
1939
Completes ‘The Duke of Marlborough’ Fanfare, subtitled ‘British War Mood Grows’, and The Immovable Do. 
Begins glossary of his ‘Nordic English’.
1940
Move temporarily to Springfield, Missouri, as a war-time base.
1941
Travels widely giving many concerts for the Red Cross and troops (to 1945).
1942
Première of his Kipling ‘Jungle Book’ Cycle (incomplete).
1943
Completes orchestral version of The Power of Rome and the Christian Heart.
1945
Comes to know the scientist Burnett Cross, with whom he soon starts to work on his ‘Free Music’ experiments.
Collaborates with Stokowski in Hollywood Bowl performance of Grieg piano concerto, In a Nutshell suite and Suite on Danish Folk Songs.
1946
Première of Youthful Suite.
1948
Last formal concert tour in America.
Performs Danish Folk Music Suite at a Promenade Concert in London.
1954
Awarded St Olav medal for services to Norwegian music by the King of Norway.
1955
Returns to work at his museum in Melbourne, returning to the United States in June 1956.
1957
Health starts to decline.
1958
Meets Benjamin Britten in the UK and Stockhausen in New York.
1960
Undertakes final work on ‘Free Music’ machines.
1961
Dies in White Plains, NY. Buried in Adelaide.
Gallery

Gallery

Products

per page
  1. Colonial Song

    Colonial Song

    version for two voices and piano or piano alone
    Download Edition
    Instrumentation : soprano, tenor and piano or piano alone
    Edition : score, This edition can be used as additional vocal scores for the other versions of Colonial Song
    Language : vocalise
    Order No. : ED 12525 Q6181
    €9.99  *
  2. Free Settings of Favourite Melodies

    Free Settings of Favourite Melodies

    Download Edition
    Instrumentation : piano
    Order No. : ED 12778 Q6204
    €12.99  *
  3. Colonial Song

    Colonial Song

    Download Edition
    Instrumentation : organ
    Order No. : ED 12897 Q6328
    €6.99  *
  4. Harvest Hymn

    Harvest Hymn

    for Violin and Piano
    Download Edition
    Instrumentation : violin and piano
    Order No. : ED 12559 Q21635
    €7.99  *
  5. Molly on the Shore

    Molly on the Shore

    British Folk-Music Settings No. 1 (Revised Edition)
    Download Edition
    Instrumentation : string quartet
    Edition : score and parts
    Order No. : ED 13808 Q25906
    €16.99  *
  6. English Waltz

    English Waltz

    Download Edition
    Instrumentation : piano
    Order No. : BDE 30 Q40472
    €15.99  *
  7. Early One Morning

    Early One Morning

    Download Edition
    Instrumentation : mixed choir (SATB) a capella
    Edition : choral score
    Order No. : BDE 13 Q40473
    €5.99  *
  8. Prelude in G

    Prelude in G

    Download Edition
    Instrumentation : Piano
    Order No. : BDE 907 Q40474
    €11.99  *
  9. O Mistress Mine

    O Mistress Mine

    Download Edition
    Composer : Morley, Thomas
    Instrumentation : gemischter Chor (SATB)
    Edition : choral score
    Order No. : BDE 576 Q40476
    €0.99  *
  10. Under a Bridge

    Under a Bridge

    Download Edition
    Instrumentation : soprano, baritone and piano
    Order No. : BDE 652 Q40479
    €15.99  *

per page
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