EDGAR LESLIE BAINTON (1880 - 1956)
Today Edgar Bainton is known principally for his famous anthem ‘And I Saw A New Heaven’, originally published in 1928, but during the first thirty years of the twentieth-century regular performances of his choral works and part-songs kept his name at the forefront of a developing English Musical Renaissance. Edgar Bainton was born in London in 1880, but spent his early life in coventry, where his father was a congregational minister. He won a music scholarship to King Henry VIII Grammar School at 11, and at 16 won a place at the Royal College of Music, later studying composition with Sir Charles Villiers Stanford and winning the Hopkinson and Tagore Medals for outstanding achievement. After many years teaching in Newcastle-upon-Tyne (from 1901 to 1934) Bainton and his family emigrated to Australia in order to take up his appointment as director of the New South Wales Conservatorium, Sydney. He remained in Australia until his death in 1956, by which time he was regarded as an Australian composer and his music and name in the United Kingdom were virtually forgotten. His output includes three symphonies, two operas, various other orchestral works (including a Concerto Fantasia for Piano) and many songs and part-songs.