Gustav Holst was born on September 21, 1874 in Cheltenham, England. His father Adolph was a professional pianist and his mother Clara, who passed away in 1882, was also a pianist as well as a singer. As a child, Holst was sickly, suffered from poor eyesight, and did not receive much parental attention. He was educated at Cheltenham Grammar School from 1886-91, showing an interest in composing. In 1891, he left for Oxford to study counterpoint for a few months with George Frederick Sims, the organist of Merton College. Holst then attended the Royal College of Music in London and studied under Charles Stanford until 1898. He married Isobel Harrison in 1901 and was appointed Director of Music at St. Paul’s Girls’ School in Hammersmith in 1905, where he would continue to teach until his death. Because of his teaching position, Holst was unable to devote large chunks of time to composing, but remained dedicated to the artform throughout his life. He passed away on May 25, 1934.
Gustav Holst is featured in Edition: Guest Editor, Stephan Breuer