January 29, 1862
Bradford, Yorkshire, England
June 10, 1934 in Grez-sur-Loing, (near Fontainebleau) France due to complications of syphilis.
Also Known As:
Prolific English composer who helped revive English music. Although he was born in Yorkshire, he spent most of his life in France.
Type of Compositions:
Delius studied in Yorkshire at Bradford Grammar School and then at the International College in Isleworth, London. At first his father didn't support his interest in music and sent Delius to Florida to work in an orange plantation. However, while there, Delius pursued his music studies and learned music theory with Thomas Ward. In time he gained the support of his father and further pursued his music studies in 1886 at Leipzig where he befriended Edvard Grieg
. He then moved to Paris where he met and later married Jelka Rosen, a painter, in 1903.
His compositions include; "Florida," "Irmelin," "Koanga," "Fennimore and Gerda," "Paris: the Song of a Great City," "A Village Romeo and Juliet," "Appalachia," "Sea Drift," "A Mass of Life," "Brigg Fair," "Songs of Farewell," "Requiem," "Cello Concerto," "Double Concerto," "Violin Concerto," "Over the Hills and Far Away," he also wrote 2 "Dance Rhapsodies," "Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring," "Summer Night on the River," "Songs of Sunset" and "Song of the High Hills."
In 1929, Delius was inducted to the Order of Companions of Honour, a recognition given to those who greatly contributed to the advancement of culture. By the early 1920s, Delius had difficulty composing as he became paralyzed and his eyesight deteriorated. But in 1928, with the help of musician Eric Fenby who became his amanuensis, (someone who copies manuscripts, takes dictation, records and perform related tasks) Delius resumed composing.
There is a film titled "Song of Summer" which was based on a memoir ("Delius as I knew him") written by Eric Fenby. The said film was directed by Ken Russell and aired in 1968.
Listen to Frederick Delius' suite "Florida
" (third movement) courtesy of YouTube.