Roger Quilter

born on 1/11/1877 in Hove, South East England, United Kingdom

died on 21/9/1953 in London, England, United Kingdom

Roger Quilter

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Roger Cuthbert Quilter (Hove 1 November 1877 – 21 September 1953 London) was an English composer, known particularly for his songs.


Born at Hove, Sussex[1] (a commemorative blue plaque is on the house at 4 Brunswick Square),[2] Quilter was a younger son of Sir William Quilter, 1st Baronet, who was a wealthy noted landowner, politician and art collector. Quilter was educated first in the preparatory school at Farnborough, then moving to Eton College and later becoming a fellow-student of Percy Grainger, Cyril Scott and H. Balfour Gardiner at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt, where he studied for almost five years under the guidance of German professor of composition, Iwan Knorr.[3] He belonged to the Frankfurt Group, a circle of composers who studied at the Hoch Conservatory in the late 1890s.[3] 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.[4]

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.

Quilter enjoyed a fruitful collaboration with the tenor Gervase Elwes until the latter's death in 1921. As a homosexual, he found it difficult to cope with some of the pressures which he felt were imposed upon him, and eventually deteriorated into mental illness after the loss of his nephew Arnold Guy Vivian during the Second World War.[5]

He died at his home in St John's Wood, London, a few months after celebrations to mark his 75th birthday, and was buried in the family vault at St Mary's Church, Bawdsey, Suffolk.[3]


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", "Fair House of Joy", "Come Away Death", "Go, Lovely Rose", "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.

He also published the Arnold Book of Old Songs, a collection of 16 folk and traditional songs to new accompaniments, dedicated to his nephew Arnold Guy Vivian.

Selected works

  • Four Songs of the Sea
  • Three Studies for Piano, Op. 4 (1910)
  • Where the Rainbow Ends (incidental music) (1911)
  • Love at the Inn (opera)
  • Five English Love Lyrics
  • A Children's Overture (1914)
  • Five Jacobean Lyrics
  • To Julia, Op. 8 (texts of Robert Herrick) (1905)
  • The Fuschia Tree, Op. 25 No. 2 (1923)[6]
  • Three Pastoral Songs, Op. 22
  • Seven Elizabethan Lyrics, Op. 12
  • Three Shakespeare Songs, Op. 6
  • Three English Dances, Op. 11
  • Arnold Book of Old Songs (1921, 1942, pub. 1950)
  • Five Shakespeare Songs, Op. 23


  1. Middleton, Judy (2001). Brunswick Town.
  2. Hove, Portslade and Brighton in the Past
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Hold, Trevor, Roger Quilter - Volume 1, Jeffrey Benton's Art Song and Lieder Page - Access date: 6 June 2012
  4. Grove Music Online Quilter, Roger. Grove Music Online ed. L. Macy (2008). Retrieved on 2008-03-01.
  5. Langfield, Valerie (2004). "Roger Quilter 1877-1953: His Life, Times and Music".
  6. Smythe, David K.,The Fuschia Tree, The Lied, Art Song, and Choral Texts Archive, Access date: 6 June 2012

External links

  • Roger Quilter Homepage
  • Free scores by Roger Quilter in the International Music Score Library Project
  • Free scores by Roger Quilter in the Choral Public Domain Library (ChoralWiki)
This page was last modified 14.02.2014 15:07:02

This article uses material from the article Roger Quilter from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.