ERNEST JOHN MOERAN (1894 - 1950)
Ernest John Moeran belongs to the generation of British composers that flourished in the first half of the twentieth century. He was born in 1894 into a family of Anglo-Irish origin and was sent to school at Uppingham, where Joachim was an occasional visitor. His studies at the Royal College of Music were interrupted by the war, in which he was seriously wounded, and his health and later stability seem to have been seriously affected by his injuries, when a piece of shrapnel lodged in his brain. He resumed his studies at the Royal College under John Ireland after a brief period of work as a schoolmaster at Uppingham. Ireland remained a strong influence on his composition, as was Delius and, it might be supposed, his friend Peter Warlock. Other influences may be found in the landscape and folk-song of his native Norfolk and in those of the country of his forebears, Ireland, where he died in 1950. His earlier work included songs and chamber music that earned him favourable attention, while the 1930s brought a change of direction, notably in his First Symphony, a work suggesting the influence of Sibelius that given its first performance in January 1938, after a prolonged period of gestation. In 1945 he married the cellist Peers Coetmore, for whom he wrote his Cello Concerto, followed by other works for the instrument.