skip to Main Content

Avril Coleridge-Taylor (1903-1998)

Born March 8, 1903
South Norwood, London, UK
Died December 21, 1998
Seaford, UK
Nationality English
Era Modern

Gwendolyn Avril Coleridge-Taylor was an English pianist, conductor, and composer. She was the daughter of composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and his wife Jessie (née Walmisley).

Gwendolyn wrote her first composition, Goodbye Butterfly, at the age of twelve. Later, she won a scholarship for composition and piano at Trinity College of Music in 1915, where she was taught by Gordon Jacob and Alec Rowley.

In 1933, Coleridge-Taylor made her debut as a conductor at the Royal Albert Hall. She was the first female conductor of H.M.S. Royal Marines and a frequent guest conductor of the BBC Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra. She was the founder and conductor of both the Coleridge-Taylor Symphony Orchestra and its accompanying musical society in the 1940s, as well as the Malcolm Sargent Symphony Orchestra. Her compositions include large-scale orchestral works, as well as songs, keyboard, and chamber music.

In 1957, Coleridge-Taylor wrote the Ceremonial March to celebrate Ghana’s independence. Her other well-regarded works include a Piano Concerto in F minor (Sussex Landscape, The Hills, To April, In Memoriam R.A.F.), Wyndore (Windover) for choir and orchestra, and Golden Wedding Ballet Suite for orchestra.

She also published compositions under the pseudonym Peter Riley.

from Wikipedia –

See Also:

Stephen Bourne’s award-winning book Black Poppies: Britain’s Black Community & the Great War from The History Press, 2014.

Examples by Avril Coleridge-Taylor