PHYLLIS TATE (1911 - 1987)
Phyllis Tate was born in the village of Gerrards Cross on 6 April 1911. In 1928 she was admitted to the Royal Academy of Music, where she studied composition with Harry Farjeon. Although she wrote a number of early works during this period, she destroyed nearly all of them, and it was only with the Saxophone Concerto of 1944, which has since become one of her most popular pieces, that she began to acknowledge her music. Throughout the 1940s her reputation continued to grow, and her work became increasingly well-known. She remained self-deprecating about her abilities, however, writing in 1979, ‘I must admit to having a sneaking hope that some of my creations may prove to be better than they appear.’ She died in London on 29 May 1987.
– Caroline Waight