A 241st GARLAND OF BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC COMPOSERS
I begin with Alyn Ainsworth, conductor and arranger
rather than a composer as such, active in broadcasting during the latter
part of the 20th Century. The only one of his arrangements
to achieve publication, so far as I know, was Bedtime of Drums.
I have previously covered Arthur Grimshaw, composer
of ballads and for the stage. I do not know if he was related to Emile
Grimshaw who is credited with the two-step Lancashire Clogs.
Robin Milford (1903-59) studied at the Royal
College of Music and went into school teaching. His prolific list of
compositions includes an opera, cantatas and concertos. Some of his
smaller pieces, all very lyrical, may however be reckoned as light music
– three suites for small orchestra, one of them entitled Go Little
Book, Christmas Pastoral and Three Airs, both for treble
recorder and piano and many piano solo publications including Reputation
Square and other [folk] tunes, a Waltz in B Flat (1936), Winter
Sketches, Jennifer’s Jingle and Dr Johnson Diversions (1939).
Hyam Greenbaum (1901-42), violinist brother
of the pianist Kyla Greenbaum and husband of the harpist Sidonie Goossens,
was more of a conductor (he formed the BBC Revue Orchestra in 1939 and
directed other BBC orchestras) or arranger (he orchestrated some of
William Walton’s earlier film scores) than a composer. His Sea Poem
and Parfums de Nuits (oboe/orchestra) achieved some success.
Ernst Toch (1887-1964), composer of chamber
and other music often relying on 12-note techniques, made more money
as a Hollywood film composer. He fled from Europe to the USA but, rather
like Miklós Rózsa he stopped off (for a year or so) in
England and there composed the score for the film Catherine the Great
Now for a few late Victorian march composers who managed
to get their creations published for piano solo: J.W. Cherry
with Britannica, the Pride of the Ocean; Charles D. Blake
(1839-?), with Grand March, Waves of the Sea and – a Galop –
Viccolo: and the Cornishman Thomas Merritt (1863-1908)
whose 1902 Coronation March was unsuccessful, though it was revived
in the late 20th century with some success (he also composed
carols). From roughly the same period came the piano piece Sleigh
Bells by Charles Calkin who is not to be confused with J.B.
Calkin (1927-1905), composer of organ miniatures and a Festival
March for piano and his brother George Calkin, also a composer
for the organ.
Philip's book 'British Light Music Composers' (ISBN 0903413 88 4) is
currently out of print.