Edgar Leslie Bainton (1880-1956), musician, was born on 14 February 1880 at Hackney, London. At 9 he played in his first concert and in 1896 won an open scholarship to the Royal College of Music, London.
In 1901, Bainton was appointed professor of pianoforte and composition at the Conservatoire of Music, Newcastle upon Tyne, and became principal in 1912. Active in the city's musical life, he was conductor of the Newcastle Philharmonic Orchestra in 1911-34.
Bainton was a prolific composer of choral, symphonic and chamber works. He was often inspired to set poetry to music. As an examiner for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, he made several tours of Australia, Canada and India.
In 1934, Bainton was appointed director of the New South Wales State Conservatorium of Music, and that year was awarded an honorary doctorate of music by the University of Durham and elected a fellow of the Royal College of Music.
He firmly believed in broadcasting as a means of musical education and encouraged the music club movement. Between teaching, conducting, playing, examining and lecturing, he still found time to compose.
When he reached retiring age the number of students at the conservatorium had increased from 750 in 1934 to over 2000.