DOROTHY HOWELL was born in Handsworth, Birmingham and, like Holbrooke, entered The Royal Academy of Music at the unusually early age of 15, where she studied composition under Sir J.B. McEwen. Apart from Lamia and the piano concerto, Dorothy Howell’s compositions for orchestra are not many – the overture The Rock, the ballet Koong Shee and the Three Divertissements are her most important contributions – but they are all of a uniformly high standard. The late John Drummond (a distinguished Controller of BBC Radio Three) considered her the finest British woman composer of her era.
Eugene Goossens called CYRIL SCOTT the “Father of modern British music”; he has also been referred to as “the English Debussy”. A prolific composer, Scott wrote over 400 works, though many of these were piano pieces or songs. However, major compositions include four symphonies, four opera, four large scale choral works – including the outstanding Hymn of Unity, and numerous concertos. There is also a considerable body of chamber music.
LILIAN ELKINGTON was born in Birmingham and studied piano and composition at the Birmingham and Midland Institute School of Music with Sir Granville Bantock. She also studied the organ, and became a Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music and Associate of the Royal College of Organists in her early twenties. This was almost certainly Elkington’s first work for orchestra and one can only marvel at the extraordinary mastery of that medium which it displays.