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A Passion for Symphonies: Robert Simpson (1921-1997)-bookcover

By: Lionel Pike

A Passion for Symphonies: Robert Simpson (1921-1997)

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This is the first full-length study of the symphonies of Robert Simpson to be offered to the general public. Simpson is perhaps best known for his BBC work, including the Promenade Concerts and such innovatory radio programmes as The Innocent Ear; but critics have hailed him as one of the finest writers of symphonies of the twentieth century—one who additionally spent a lifetime examining and talking about works of this kind, being particularly interested in the oeuvres of Bruckner, Nielsen and Sibelius. As a result, his compositions provide invaluable case studies for the understanding of this most demanding of compositional forms, as well as being a string of eleven masterpieces spanning the last half of the twentieth century.

Lionel Pike Professor of Music Emeritus at Royal Holloway (University of London) and was the organist of the college chapel there from 1969 to 2005. For four years, he served as the dean of the Faculty of Music at the University of London. He was a chorister and assistant organist of Bristol Cathedral, and at Oxford, was organ scholar of Pembroke College, his tutors being Sir David Lumsden and Dr H.K. Andrews. The research for his D. Phil was in Renaissance music, though he has since published books on symphonic form and edited church music for the Purcell Society. He is married and has two daughters.

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