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Biographical details of composers, lyricists, arrangers

Biographical details (in alphabetical order of surname) Pieces in this archive (composer unless otherwise stated)
Luigi Arditi (1822-1903) was born in Italy and trained at the Conservatory of Milan.  His early career as an opera conductor took him throughout Italy and Europe, as well as to USA, Cuba.  He settled in England in the late 1850s, conducting at Covent Garden and other theatres.  He died at Hove.  He composed several operas - I Briganti, Il Corsaro, La Spia, - a choral piece Inno Turco (a setting of a Turkish text) and popular waltzes, including Il Bacio (The Kiss), Le Tortorelle, Se Saran Rose and Parla.  Il Bacio had a text specially written by the baritone Gottardo Aldighieri (1824-1906) and was dedicated to the Italian soprano, Marietta Piccolomini (1834-1899). Il Bacio
Louis V Armadell - no information found Britain's Star of Victory
Nathaniel Davis Ayer (1887-1952) was an American composer, pianist, singer and actor, who spent much of his career in England.  His most famous songs were: Oh, You Beautiful Doll (1911) and If You were the Only Girl in the World (1917).  After the First World War he was less successful and was declared bankrupt in 1938.  He died in Bath in 1952. The Bing Boys are Here
Sydney Baynes (1879-1938) was an English conductor, composer and bandleader, born in Sudbury, near Wembley.  He composed mainly light music and parlour songs, and worked extensively as an arranger.  He worked for the BBC and formed his own orchestra which he led between 1928 and 1938. His most famous composition was the waltz: Destiny (1912) The Bing Boys are Here (arranger)
Karl Buller. No definite information.The Crochet Polka (1850) by a composer of the same name was published by Jullien & Co Amazon Galop
Eugen D'Albert (1864-1932) was born in Glasgow and initially trained in London before emigrating to Germany, where he studied with Liszt and embarked on a career as a concert pianist. He composed piano & chamber music, songs and operas. He became director of the Hochschule fur Musik in Berlin in 1907, later moving to Zurich and becoming a Swiss citizen. Allemande, Gavotte & Musette
Herman Edouard Darewski (1883-1947) was born in Minsk, Belarus (then part of Imperial Russia), the son of a Polish singing professor. The family moved to London, and later (1897-1900) he studied in Vienna. He composed many songs, including Sister Susie's Sewing Shirts for Soldiers, K-K-K-Katy and Ours is a Nice 'Ouse Ours Is. After the failure of his music publishing business he embarked on a successful career as a conductor of light music orchestras.
 As You Were
Francis W Davenport (1847-1925) taught composition at the Royal Academy of Music in the 1880s. In 1876 he had won first prize in the Alexandra Palace Symphony Competition, beating Charles Villiers Stanford into second place. Commentators note that one of the two judges was George MacFarren (1813-1887), a former RAM principal, whose daughter Davenport had married, and some of whose compositions Davenport had arranged for the piano. The Album Leaves are aimed at young pianists, subtitled 'Pianoforte Sketches without octaves'. Davenport was also the author of Elements of Harmony and Counterpoint (1887, rev 1904) and Elements of Music; as well as Davenport's Pianoforte Tutor and (Eyers & Davenport) Scales and Arpeggios.
 Album Leaves (1) & (3)
Casa Del Sarto is described on the cover of Balladetta as a 'musician in great demand by publishers' but no information about his life has been found.  Other compositions listed on Amazon include: Airy Fairy, Frivolite, An Idyll, Soiree Dansante, Lullaby to a Closing Day, Passion Flower (Op 32), Masquerade (Op 88); and the songs I Heard (1912 - words by W B Baldry), the Tambourine (1915 - words by Mackay) When I Recall (1911 - words by W B Baldry). Balladetta
Jean Douste appears to be one of many pseudonyms used by Charles Arthur Rawlings (c1856-1919) (qv). Amour tendre
Leon du Terrail - another pseudonym used by Charles Arthur Rawlings (c1856-1919) (see above). Other compositions under this name include: Valse Poetique, L'Amour Endormi, Valse Mystique, Dainty (Valse), Italian Guards March - all published by Paxton.
Mary Earl - pseudonym of Robert Keiser (1862-1932) (qv) Beautiful Ohio
Percy Elliott (1870-1932) was a violinist, composer and conductor, born in Dunstable. As well as piano pieces, his songs included A Sprig of White Heather, My Dainty Cigarette, Sleep and Forget, Sweetest and Dearest. A Toi
Luke Cavendish Everett. Rainer Lotz (1977) identifies him as the pianist on a piano roll of The Prehistoric Cakewalk and Two-Step (Phonola 9202) made in Leipzig in 1913, and suggests that he was the pianist (identified as 'Everett') in the band led by the Liverpool-born black bandleader, Gordon Strettons, which toured Europe in 1920; he adds that Everett is believed to be African-American. Other works listed on Amazon & eBay include: Inspiration (Veleta Valse, 1904); The White City Waltz (1907 - steps also by T Walton); The Golden West (Intermezzo, 1914); Springtime of Life (valse, 1913); Dawn of Day (valse, 1915); Esperano (barn dance, n.d., steps by T Almond). Others include: Carmencits (waltz, c1907); The Sefton (1909).  Boston Two-Step
Harry Farjeon (1878-1948) was born in New York to a British father and an American mother. The family moved to England a few months after his birth and he grew up in Hampstead, where he spent most of his life. He was one of an artistic family which included his sister, Eleanor (novelist & poet, 1881-1965) and his brothers Joseph Jefferson (novelist, 1883-1955) and Herbert (writer of theatrical revues, 1887-1945). He studied at the Royal Academy, where he later taught for 47 years, becoming their youngest ever professor at the age of 25. He also taught at Blackheath Conservatoire. He wrote mostly for the piano, but also composed songs, sonatas, concertos and a mass; and he wrote about music for newspapers and journals. At Parting
 Geo H Farnell Abyssinian Expedition (arranger)
Percy E Fletcher (1879-1932) was born in Derby and after learning violin, piano & organ, made his living as a Musical Director in London Theatres.  He directed the long running musical Chu Chin Chow, and composed its successor, Cairo.  As well as theatre shows, he composed a wide range of music, including ballads, choral and orchestral pieces and music for brass band.  He completed the orchestration of Coleridge-Taylor's unfinished works when their composer died in 1912.  Most of his piano music was arranged from orchestral scores. Bal Masque
Gilbert Forsyth Poet whose lines were the stimulus for At Bideford Fair.  No other information found. At Bideford Fair
W[illiam] Grilliers No information found. Items arranged or composed by him listed on Amazon include: Il Trovatore Quadrille (on Verdi's opera); Pop Goes the Weasel, with instructions for dancing; My Mary Ann Polka (arr for pianoforte); 100 melodies of All Nations (easily arranged for pianoforte); Josephine Schottische (pf); Imperial Mazurka, Op 3 (pf); Hood de dooden do Polka, on favourite airs sung by Christy's Minstrels; The Gortlitza (pf); Fairy of the Valley Valse (adapted from the ballad by J A Hardwick: Who would not be a Fairy); The Corsair Galop.
 Bobbing Around (polka)
Beatrice Ida Hampden (1867-1912) was a pianist and violinist, daughter of Renn Hampden and Ida Cumberland, of Bath.  She married the   pianist Ezra Read (1860-1922) (qv) whom she met in Bristol, and together they took a course in harmony and musical composition which led to  them both becoming composers.  Her first piece, a barn dance called Stolen Moments, was published in 1888.  She and her husband travelled widely together as performers - he on organ and she on piano.  She contracted a disease which left her paralysed and died in Derby aged 45.  Other compositions include: The Battle of Flowers (1905), Japanese Polka (1896), Little Trumpeters (piano duet, 1905), Beautiful Bells, Beauty and the Beast (Waltz), Bluebells (very easy waltz), Aladdin, or The Wonderful Lamp.Baden-Powell Schottische
 Maxime Heller is another pseudonym of Charles Arthur Rawlings (c1856-1919) (qv) Il Bacio (arranger)
Edward Isaacs (1881-1953) was a student at the Manchester College of Music from 1894 to 1903 after which he continued his studies in Germany and Austria, making his Berlin debut in 1904. He was blinded in an accident in 1924 but still continued his career as a pianist, teacher,lecturer and broadcaster. Balladetta (editor)
Robert Keiser (1862-1932) (also known as Robert A 'Bobo' King) an American Tin Pan Alley composer. His most famous songs are Beautiful Ohio (1918) and Dreamy Alabama (1919). He wrote songs under his own name as well as various pseudonyms. Some of the other songs that are directly traceable to King are: Beautiful Hawaii, In Old Manila, Isle Of Paradise, Hawaiian Smiles, I Ain't Nobody's Darling, Why Did I Kiss That Girl, Just Like a Rainbow, Apple Blossoms, I Scream, You Scream, Ain't My Baby Grand and Moonlight on the Colorado. During the course of his career, he also composed various concert pieces including Gavottes; Polkas; Marches, and Waltzes. Beautiful Ohio (MaryEarl)
Albert William Ketelbey (1875-1959) was an English composer, conductor and pianist, best known for light orchestral pieces including: In a Monastery Garden (1915); In a Persian Market (1920); In a Chinese Temple Garden (1923). Born in Birmingham, he studied with some distinction at Trinity College of Music before working as a conductor and composer, mainly in the field of light music. Bells across the Meadows
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)  The Absent-minded Beggar (lyrics)
Albert Kussner (?1861-1930?) composed mainly piano pieces, most of which were published by what may have been a family firm of L C Kussner in Chicago (which also held the copyright for this piece). His compositions include: Moon Moths (Op 2, 1897) Love's Mystery (Op 10); On the Heather (Op 14); Woodland Flowers (Op 16); Hesitation (1901); Memories (1906); The Evening Hour (1918) and The Merry Canter: Polka Brillante.  At Parting (En Partant)
Gustav Lange (1830-1889) was a German composer, born near Erfurt, Saxony. He composed over 500 piano pieces of which the most popular were Edelweiss (Op 31) and Blumenlied (Op 39), both published in 1867. Blumenlied
 Guy Le Feuvre (Guy Anstruther-Mainguy) (1883-1950) was a Canadian film actor, who was credited as a composer of the operetta Arlette, alongside Ivor Novello Arlette
Alexandre Luigini (1850-1906) was a French composer who was conductor of the Opera-Comique in Paris from 1897 until his death.  He composed mainly light music for ballet and operas. Ballet Egyptien (1875) was his best known work. Ballet Egyptien
Sir George Alexander Macfarren (1813-1887) was an English composer and musicologist. His compositions include symphonies, operas and oratorios. He became a professor at the Royal Academy of Music in 1851, succeeding Sterndale Bennett as Principal in 1876. Beating of my own heart [the]
Orlando Augustine Mansfield (1863-1936) was a pianist, organist, composer, author and teacher. He composed over 1000 pieces, including choral and instrumental works, mainly for piano and organ; and over 900 articles for a range of magazines and publications. He was born in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, the son of a Free Church minister, and named after Orlando Gibbons. He studied in England and Canada before working in Torquay as an organist and choirmaster. In 1886, he married Louise Christine Jutz, a Swiss pianist, violinist & singer with whom he performed two-piano recitals. From 1912-1923 he held teaching posts at colleges in USA, subsequently returning to England where he died in Cheltenham. A full biogaphy and list of compositions can be found at His son, Purcell J Mansfield (1889-1968), was also an organist & composer, working mainly in Glasgow. Alla Capriccio
Saverio Mercadante (1795-1870) was an Italian composer, mainly of operas.  His innovations in dramatic structure and orchestration paved the way for Verdi.  His most famous works were: Il Giuramento (1837); Elena da Feltre (1839); Orazi e Curiazi (1846).  From 1840-1870 he was Director of the Naples Conservatory. Bella Adorata Incognita (from Il Giuramento)
Ernest Newton (d. 1929) was born in Llandudno and was a song composer, music editor and organist. Songs for which he wrote the tunes include: Ailsa Mine (1896),Nita Gitana, Going to Kildare, Love's Echo, Irish Slumber Song (1903). At Bideford Fair
 Ivor Novello (David Ivor Davies) (1893-1951) was a Welsh composer and actor, born in Cardiff.  His mother, Clara Novello Davies, was a singing teacher and choral conductor, later based in London.  He had an early success with the song Keep the Home Fires Burning (Till the Boys Come Home), to words by the American Lena Guilbert-Ford. He composed a string of successful musicals, including Glamorous Night (1935); Careless Rapture (1937); The Dancing Years (1939); Perchance to Dream (1945), King's Rhapsody (1949).  His songs include We'll Gather Lilacs; Rose of England; Someday My Heart Will Awake.  The Ivor Novello Awards for songwriting were established in 1955 in his memory. Arlette
Louis Pearson - a composer of this name of was trained at Durham Cathedral and took his Bachelor of Music degree at Durham in 1907-8. He was organist of Trinity Church South Shields, and his Toccata in C minor for organ was dedicated to the vicar of that church, Rev R E Holmes, MA Oxon. Air de Ballet
John Pridham (1818-1896) was a school teacher in Taunton and a prolific composer of piano music, much of which responded to topical events. Other compositions include The Battle March of Delhi (1857) and Yorkshire Bells (c1873). The Abyssinian Expedition
Charles Arthur Rawlings (c1856-1919). A composer who used many pseudonyms, including Jean Douste, Theo Bonheur, Faulkner Brandon, Gordon Temple, Maurice Telma, Paul Perrier, Emerson James, Auguste Cons, Dennis Duprez, Oscar Verne and Gilbert Loewe. Amour Tendre (Jean Douste)
 Aubade (Leon du Terrail)
 Avril (Maurice Telma)
Il Bacio (Maxime Heller, arranger)
Ezra Read (1862-1922) was an English composer and pianist, born in Willenhall.  He married Beatrice Ida Hampden (1867-1912) and together they studied harmony and composition, reputedly composing some 4000 pieces under 120 pen names.  His Easy Pianoforte Tutor (1897) sold thousands of copies worldwide.  Successful compositions include Cinderella Waltz (1910); Mafeking, Kimberley and Ladysmith Marches; and descriptive fantasias including: The Christmas Ball (1909); Fire! Fire!  (1915); The Victoria Cross (1899) and The War of Nations (1914) and several ragtime pieces.Berlin Polka; The British Empire (fantasia, arranger)
A R Reinagle.  There were two composers by the name of Alexander Robert Reinagle, uncle and nephew.  A R Reinagle the elder (1756-1809) was an English-born American composer, organist and theatre musician.  The younger A R Reinagle (1799-1877) was born in Brighton, the son of his namesake's brother Joseph (1762-1826, also a composer) and lived most of his life in Kidlington, near Oxford.  He is mainly remembered as a composer of hymn tunes. His wife, Caroline (nee Orger, 1817-1892) was also a composer and pianist. Beatrice Polka
Edward Francis Rimbault (1816-1876) was an English organist, musicologist, book collector and author, born in London to a French Huguenot family.  He learnt music from his father,  Samuel Wesley and WIlliam Crotch.  He was a founder member of the Musical Antiquarian Society and the Percy Society.  He edited many collections of music and wrote a number of books on aspects of music.  Among his few compositions was a tune for Philip Doddridge's O Happy Day that Fixed my Choice, to which he added a refrain. Bella Adorata Incognita (piano arrangement)
Paul Alfred Rubens (1875-1917) was a songwriter and librettist who wrote or contributed to some of the most popular musical comedies of the early 20th century, including Miss Hook of Holland; The Balkan Princess; The Sunshine Girl; The Girl from Utah; Tonight's the Night; The Happy Day. Throughout his life he suffered from tuberculosis, from which he died aged 41. Betty (Valse)
Joseph Rummel (1818-1880), a composer and pianist, member of a German family of musicians. Beating of my own heart [the] [arranger]
Eduard Schutt (1856-1933) was a Russian composer, pianist and conductor. He was born in St Petersburg and graduated from the Conservatory there. He moved to Vienna in 1879 and after 1887 devoted himself to composition.  A la Bien Aimee
Ernest (Ernst) Steffan (1896-1967) was an Austrian composer, librettist
and musical director. After his collaboration with Rubens, he worked in Berlin, writing several shows before moving to London in 1933, where he lived until 1954 before returning to Berlin. As well as musical theatre pieces, he composed songs, piano pieces and film music.
 Betty (Valse)
Heinrich Franz Daniel Stiehl (1829-1886) was a German composer, organist and conductor, born into a musical family in Lubeck. He studied at Leipzig Conservatory under Moscheles and was a professor at the St Petersburg Conservatory from 1862-1869, where he briefly taught Tchaikowsky. AFter spells in Belfast and Hastings, he settled in Reval as an organist and teacher. The list of his compositions extends to over 170 opus numbers, mainly for piano. La Belle Siberienne
Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900) was a British composer most famous for his collaboration with W S Gilbert which resulted in a series of Gilbert & Sullivan operas in the years 1875-90, including The Gondoliers, The Mikado, The Pirates of Penzance and HMS Pinafore. Sullivan also composed orchestral and choral works, as well as hymns and songs - including Onward Christian Soldiers and The Lost Chord. The Absent-minded Beggar
 Maurice Telma - another pseudonym of Charles Arthur Rawlings (c1856-1919) (see above).  Some 50 of his piano compositions under this name are listed on Amazon Avril
W E Tipper - no information found Adeste Fideles    
John Francis Wade (1711-86) published Adeste Fideles in 1751 and is assumed to be its composer. Adeste Fideles
 Tom Walton Boston Two-Step (dance inventor)
Dr Cecil Webb-Johnson (1879-1930) was a physician, writer and composer. Born into a medical family in Stoke-on-Trent, he trained medicine and after holding several positions in Britain, he served in various medical capacities in India during the First World War. He returned to England in 1919 and set up a private practice, specialising in the treatment of cardiac disease. He wrote several popular works on diet and obesity, including Diet for Women (1922), Diet for Men (1923), Why Be Fat? (1923). His other compositions include Waiting Arms (Waltz, 1920), Caroline of Carolina (Valse Song,1928) and Miss Copper-Nob (one-step or fox-trot, 1920). He died of cardiac failure, aged 51, in 1930. Babette
Arthur Wimperis (1874-1953), was an illustrator, playwright, lyricist and screenwriter. He was librettist and lyricist for musical comedies, including The Arcadians (1909). His songs include Gilbert the Filbert and I'll Make a Man of You. From 1930 he wrote screenplays for a large number of British and US films, winning an Oscar for Mrs Miniver (1942).
 As You Were