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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » B » Butterworth, George



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George Butterworth (7/12/1885 - 8/05/1916)

Born in London in 1885, Butterworth was of Yorkshire ancestry, endowed with the sturdiness and obstinacy of character associated with that county. His father, Sir Alexander Kaye Butterworth, was solicitor and later general manager of the North Eastern Railway, and his mother an amateur singer. He was first at Aysgarth, a prep school in Yorkshire. Something more of his musical ability became further apparent while he was at Eton, where his teachers included Thomas Dunhill and C.H. Lloyd. He went on to Trinity College, Oxford. There he read Literae Humaniores, but neglected his classical academic studies in favour of musical activities, becoming president of the University Music Club and meeting Hugh Allen and R.O. Morris. His father opposed his intention of becoming a musician and Butterworth in consequence was obliged to support himself, following the choice he had made, at first on the music staff of The Times and then as a master at Radley, a school within easy reach of Oxford. In 1910 he returned to London and entered the Royal College of Music, studying the organ with Walter Parratt, piano with Herbert Sharp and theory with Charles Wood, but left after a year, living with his parents, who now were established in London.

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