ROGER QUILTER (1877 - 1953)
After schooling at Eton, the English composer Roger Quilter studied at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt, where his fellow students included Balfour Gardiner, Cyril Scott, Norman O’Neill and, briefly, Percy Grainger – composers later known as the Frankfurt Group. Family money allowed him a comfortable existence though it was marred by his epression, the result of his homosexual inclinations.
Quilter is particularly remembered for his songs, settings of texts that demonstrated his literary perspicacity.
Quilter’s stage music is generally light in nature. His music for a fairy-play for children, Where the Rainbow Ends, won regular performances, but the more ambitious light opera Julia, with words by Rodney Bennett (father of the composer Richard Rodney Bennett), failed, although episodes from it were published. Quilter also wrote music for ballet and incidental music for the theatre.
Quilter’s deftness of touch is demonstrated in works such as A Children’s Overture, which once enjoyed considerable popularity.