Born: April 8, 1889 - Chester, England
Died: February 22, 1983 - London (or Farnham), England
The eminent English conductor, Sir Adrian (Cedrik) Boult, studied at Westminster School and then at Christ Church, Oxford under Sir Hugh Allen. He completed his training in Leipzig under Max Reger and had the good fortune to watch Arthur Nikisch at work. Back in Britain, he gave concerts at Covent Garden.
In 1919, on request from the composer Gustav Holst, he conducted the first performance of part of the suite The Planets. From 1919 to 1930 he was on the teaching staff of the Royal College of Music, London. He conducted in England and abroad, and in 1924 he took over the directorship of the Birmingham Festival Chorus and the City of Birmingham Symphonic Orchestra (until 1930). In 1926 he became the assistant musical director of Covent Garden. From 1928 to 1931 he conducted the BBC Bach Choir and from 1930 to 1950, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, a post which brought him international fame. With his orchestra, he visited Vienna (1933), Boston and Salzburg (1935) and New York (1938 and 1939). From 1942 to 1950 he was the deputy director of the London 'Proms'. In 1936 he conducted during the coronation of George VI. From 1950 he was the director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1957 he resigned this post, and after that he only worked as a guest conductor. In 1968 he conducted Edward Elgar's The dream of Gerontius for television in Canterbury Cathedral. From 1959 he again directed the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. He taught at the Royal College of Music from 1962 to 1966. In 1979 he stopped conducting.
Sir Adrian Boult was a prominent figure of English musical life and an advocate of English music at home and abroad. Ralph Vaughan Williams' Job, a masque of dancing, Herbert Howells' Concert for strings and Malcolm Williamson's Concert for organ and orchestra were dedicated to him. He conducted the following first performances: Music for strings (1935) and Concert for piano and orchestra (1939) by Arthur Bliss, A pastoral Symphony (1922) and Symphonies No. 4 and 6 (1935 and 1948) by Ralph Vaughan Williams and Trauermusik (1936) by Paul Hindemith.
Works: The Point of the Stick, a Handbook on the Technique of Conducting, with Walter Emery (Oxford 1921 and London 1949, revised London 1968); The Saint Matthew Passion, its Preparation and Performance, with Walter Emery (London, 1949); Thoughts on Conducting (London 1963); My own Trumpet, Autobiography (London 1973).