George Butterworth

Biography

George Butterworth was an English composer, folk song collector and country dancer whose most famous works include the orchestral idyll The Banks of Green Willow and A Shropshire Lad. Born in Paddington, his family moved to York shortly after his birth and he first began learning music and composing with his mother at a young age. He obtained a scholarship to Eton College and studied at Trinity College Oxford, where he was President of the University Music Club. He also briefly studied piano and organ at the Royal College of Music, where he worked with Hubert Parry. George was a leading figure among Edwardian composers whose music was influenced by traditional music of the English rural working class. He collected folk songs from rural England and collection contained over 300 English folk songs, tunes and dances. In addition to composing, George also wrote criticism for The Times and taught at Radley College. In 1916, George was killed at Pozi√®res, France during the Battle of the Somme aged just 31.

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Image Credit: George Butterworth Memorial Volume, privately printed in the UK, 1918