Norman Demuth


Born in South Croydon on July 15th, 1898; Norman Demuth was an English composer and writer on music.

He studied at the RCM with Dunhill until 1915, when he joined the army. Invalided out in 1916, he earned his living from 1917 as a church organist. As a composer he was essentially self-taught, though he received a good deal of encouragement from Dan Godfrey. His first orchestral performance came in 1925, when the Selsey Rhapsody was given by the LSO under Boult. Then for a number of years his music was frequently played in the provinces, and he conducted performances of his own and other works at various south-coast towns (he was a regular conductor of several choral and orchestral societies in south-east England at this time); but almost all of the pieces written before 1937 were later destroyed.

In 1930 he was appointed professor of composition at the RAM, where he stayed for the remainder of his career, except for army service in World War II. He was secretary of the RAM New Music Society from 1936 to 1939. He was also made an Officer of the Académie (1951) and a Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur (1954).

He died in Chichester on April 21st, 1968. 

Biography from Grove Music Online