KENNETH LEIGHTON In a century when most British composers were the product of a solid middleclass background, Kenneth Leighton was a notable exception. Born into a humble family in Wakefield, Yorkshire. Leighton composed three piano concertos. The first, in D minor Opus 11, was written in the year he graduated from Oxford, is a lively piece, full of youthful vigour.
RUTH GIPPS was born in Bexhill-on-Sea in 1921 and as a child prodigy she has performed her first composition by the age of eight. At the age of thirty three however, an old injury to her right hand put paid to her career as a pianist and she decided to focus her energies on conducting and composition. She was a pioneering women conductor and became one of the most prolific female British composers whose works challenged the prevailing trends in avant-garde music such as serialism and twelve-tone music. Her musical philosophy was often at odds with mainstream thinking, and her early career was affected strongly by the discrimination against women in the male-dominated ranks of music and particularly in composition.