July 8, 1882
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
February 20, 1961 in White Plains, New York, U.S.A.
Also Known As:
George Percy Grainger was an Australian composer, conductor, pianist and avid collector of folk music.
Type of Compositions:
He wrote orchestral and chamber works, piano arrangements and vocal music. Much of his compositions were influenced by English folk music.
Grainger was taught by his mother (with whom he remained close) and at age 10, had his first public performance as a pianist. He also received piano instruction from Louis Pabst. In 1895, Grainger went to Europe to study at the conservatory in Frankfurt. By 1901, he was attracting attention as a concert pianist in London. In 1905, he joined the English Folk Song Society. A year later, he met and became friends with another avid collector of folk songs; Edvard Grieg. Grainger was also friends with Frederick Delius.
His major works include "Country Gardens," "The Warriors," "Molly on the Shore," "Handel in the Strand," "Shepherd’s Hey," "A Lincolnshire Posy," "Mock Morris" and "Hill Songs."
Grainger moved to the U.S.A. in 1914 and eventually became a U.S. citizen. In 1922, Rose, his mother, committed suicide. After his mother's death, Grainger focused his attention to collecting Danish folk songs; he also returned to Australia twice as a concert pianist. Grainger became head of New York University's music department from 1932 to 1933. Two years later, he founded the Grainger Museum at Melbourne.
Listen to Percy Grainger's "Molly on the Shore" performed by the Newman Smith High School Wind Symphony courtesy of YouTube.