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Cecil Forsyth (Composer, Arranger)

Born: November 30, 1870 - Greenwich, England
Died: December 7, 1941 - New York, New York, USA

The English composer and writer on music, Cecil Forsyth, received his general education at the University of Edinburgh. He then studied at the Royal College of Music in London with Charles Villiers Stanford and Hubert Parry.

Cecil Forsyth joined the viola section in the Queen’s Hall Orchestra; also was connected with the Savoy Theatre, where he produced 2 of his comic operas, Westward Ho! and Cinderella. After the outbreak of World War I, he went to New York, where he remained for the rest of his life.

Cecil Forsyth composed a Viola Concerto in G minor (which premiered at the Proms in 1903 with Emile Ferir conducting), he "choral ballad" Tinker, Tailor, and Chant celtique for Viola and Orchestra; also songs, sacred music, and instrumental pieces. He was the author of a comprehensive manual, Orchestration (New York, 1914; 2nd edition, 1935; reprinted 1948); Choral Orchestration (London, 1920); also a treatise on English opera, Music and Nationalism (London, 1911). He published (in collaboration with C.V. Stanford) A History of Music (London, 1916), A Digest of Music History (1923), and a collection of essays, Clashpans (New York, 1933). Conductor Adrian Boult recounts in Adrian Boult on Music how Forsyth advised Ralph Vaughan Williams about the orchestration of RVW's A London Symphony.


Source: Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of 20th Century Classical Musicians (1997); Wikipedia Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (July 2007)

Cecil Forsyth: Short Biography | Piano Transcriptions: Works | Recordings

Links to other Sites

Cecil Forsyth (Wikipedia)




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