Howard Ferguson

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Born: 21 October 1908

Died: 31 October 1999


Howard Ferguson was a British composer and musicologist. Born in Belfast, Ferguson's musical talent was apparent early. The pianist Harold Samuel heard him in 1922 and encouraged his parents to allow him to travel to London to become his pupil. Following studies at Westminster School Ferguson entered the Royal College of Music in 1924 to study composition with R. O. Morris and Ralph Vaughan Williams. He also studied conducting with Malcolm Sargent, and formed a friendship with fellow-student Gerald Finzi.

His early compositions, such as his Octet of 1933 (scored for the same forces as Franz Schubert's octet), met with considerable success.

During World War II, Ferguson helped Myra Hess run the popular, morale-boosting series of concerts at the National Gallery. From 1948 to 1963 he taught at the Royal Academy of Music, his students there including Richard Rodney Bennett and Cornelius Cardew.

After writing The Dream of the Rood in 1958-9, Ferguson simply gave up composing to concentrate on musicology. His editions of early keyboard music and the complete piano sonatas of Schubert are authoritative.

In his later years he lived in Cambridge.

(Extract from Wikipedia article)

List of choral works

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