Remembering composer George Lloyd (1913-1998)

George _lloyd _resizeTrinity Laban recently celebrated the anniversary of composer and alumnus, George Lloyd, born on 28 June 1913. Although Lloyd's music has been somewhat eclipsed by his contemporary Benjamin Britten, his work was highly regarded during his lifetime, and Lloyd is now enjoying something of a renaissance in his centenary year. Lloyd recently featured as BBC Radio 3's Composer of the Week, and his work will also be performed at the BBC Proms this summer.

Lloyd began composing music as a child, and between 1929 and 1932 took lessons in piano and orchestration from William Lovelock at Trinity Laban (then Trinity College of Music). His first opera Iernin was performed at the Lyceum Theatre when he was only 21, and received to great critical acclaim. Tragically, however, his burgeoning career was disrupted by World War II. After joining the Royal Marines as a bandsman, his ship was sunk by its own malfunctioning torpedo and Lloyd barely escaped, injured and suffering from severe shellshock. His wife nursed him back to health and he began to compose again, but his health was too fragile for the London music scene. They moved to Dorset where he worked as a market gardener, his music going unheard for many years.

It was only in 1977, some 20 years later, that interest in his work was renewed. The BBC broadcast his 8th symphony and, championed by former Trinity Laban principal Gavin Henderson, then manager of the Philharmonia, Lloyd's work began to be recorded.

By the end of his life in 1998 George Lloyd had written twelve symphonies, three operas, and many other instrumental and vocal works. His work was performed world-wide, widely published and extensively recorded. Several of his recordings and scores are available here at Trinity Laban in the Jerwood Library of the Performing Arts, and his manuscripts are held at the British Library.

Picture courtesy of the George Lloyd Society

Read more about George Lloyd on our library blog.

Listen to clips here:

The George Lloyd Society:


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