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Composer: Delius, Frederick (1862-1934)

Find classical music concert, opera, ballet and dance listings | Delius
Fact file
Year of birth1862
Year of death1934
NationalityUnited Kingdom
PeriodRomantic
Latest reviewsSee more...

London Mozart Players delivers an elegant programme in Dublin

London Mozart Players © Sim Canetty-Clarke
The LMO deliver a lively account of Prokofiev’s “Classical” Symphony and Haydn’s last symphony while Shelley shines in Mozart’s Piano concerto no. 25.
****1
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“The spirit of Margot” celebrated in The Royal Ballet's Fonteyn gala

Dame Darcey Bussell and Gary Avis in Ashton's Tango from Façade © ROH | Andrej Uspenski
A memorable and important event in the history of British ballet, sensitively and sentimentally performed. 
****1
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The BBC Concert Orchestra go orange with Anna-Maria Helsing

Anna-Maria Helsing © Kasper Dalkarl
Finding orange everywhere: a concept concert from the BBC Concert Orchestra with Anna-Maria Helsing and Victor Sangiorgio. 
***11
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Quintessentially English: Mark Wigglesworth and the RPO

Mark Wigglesworth © Sim Canetty-Clarke
Vaughan Williams' Fifth Symphony is given a great performance by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Cadogan Hall. 
*****
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Grieg without trolls: Oslo Philharmonic at Sage Gateshead

Vasily Petrenko © Mark McNulty
The Oslo Philharmonic and Vasily Petrenko with Nikolai Lugansky bring Delius, Grieg and a sublime Sibelius Fifth Symphony to Sage Gateshead.
*****
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Biography

Frederick Delius (1862 – 1934) is generally considered to be a truly international composer, having lived and worked across Europe and America - in Germany, France, Norway and Florida - and much of his music is inspired by the literature and natural world of these surroundings.

Although pastoral miniatures, such as On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring and The walk to the Paradise Garden, are today probably most popular with listeners, the composers’ output is in fact much more diverse, with a wealth of compositions that include concertos, operas, chamber works, symphonic poems and dances, a Mass, and a Requiem.

His impressionistic and rhapsodic style is truly unique, often creating a special atmosphere from the very first bar, and can be characterized by individual orchestration and use of chromatic harmony. His compositional output offers the listener rich soundscapes; from African-American spiritual music to the vast stillness of snow-covered mountains.

Delius was one of the most important British composers working in the early years of the 20th Century during the re-flowering and divergence of British music, socialising with many of the influential writers and artists of the time including Gauguin, Strindberg and Munch, and cultivating significant musical friendships with composers Edward Grieg and Percy Grainger which were to last his lifetime.

From 1907 his works were increasingly championed by the conductor Sir Thomas Beecham, helping to establish him as a leading British composer between the wars. In spite of ailing health he was to continue composing into old age, finally, with the extraordinary collaboration of his amanuensis, Eric Fenby, to whom a number of late master-works were dictated.

Many composers and musicians - from Duke Ellington to Ernest Moeran and Kate Bush - have acknowledged the influence of Delius on their work, not least composers from the world of jazz, and many a film director has turned to his music for use in documentaries and films.

www.delius.org.uk