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Eric Fogg

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Charles William Eric Fogg (21 February 1903 – 19 December 1939) was an English composer, conductor and BBC broadcaster. His early works were influenced by Igor Stravinsky, though his later pieces owe more to Granville Bantock and Richard Strauss and even William Walton. Much of his music has been lost.
Fogg was born in Manchester, the son of Charles H. Fogg, the organist for the Hallé Orchestra, who was his first teacher. His mother, Madame Sadler-Fogg, was also musical (she trained the young Isobel Baillie in singing) and contributed to his musical education. He became a boy chorister at Manchester Cathedral from ages 10 to 14 where he came under the influence of Sydney Nicholson and Ernest Bullock. His contemporaries at Manchester Cathedral included Leslie Heward and Eric Warr. Fogg went on to study with Granville Bantock in Birmingham and served for two years as organist at St John's, Deansgate.
Fogg started composing very early and his output was considerable. An early version of his orchestral work Sea Sheen received its first run through by an amateur orchestra in Colne as early as 1917, with the fourteen year old composer conducting. However, two years later he burned most of his early compositions and started again. Despite this, by 30 March 1920 some 25 of his works were ready to be given a hearing at a British Music Society event. By the age of 18 his catalogue numbered some 57 works.
Fogg's name first reached a wider audience when he appeared at a Queen's Hall Prom concert on 21 September 1920 to conduct his Golden Butterfly ballet suite, op 40. On 16 June 1921, his "Chinese suite" The Golden Valley (1919) was premiered by Adrian Boult with the Queen's Hall Orchestra at the Royal College of Music, in the same concert as the first and only performance of Ivor Gurney's War Elegy. He joined the BBC in Manchester in 1924 as an accompanist, rising to assistant music director under T H Morrison. In the 1930s he was well known as "Uncle Eric" of the radio programme Children's Favourites. He succeeded Archie Camden as the conductor of the Manchester Schoolchildren’s Orchestra. In 1934 he moved to London and became musical director of the BBC's Empire Service (now the BBC World Service), where he founded the Empire Orchestra of 22 players in December 1934. After this time his composition work tailed off due to pressure of other work, which included conducting the Empire Orchestra five times a week, mostly in the early mornings and late at night. In 1935 he conducted the orchestra in the first performance of Peggy Glanville-Hicks's Sinfonietta in D minor for small orchestra.
Eric Fogg died on 19 December 1939, when he either fell or jumped under the wheels of a train at Waterloo Station in London. He had been on his way to Brighton for his second wedding. The coroner delivered an open verdict, however his death is often described as suicide.
Fogg's music attracted differing opinions and even some hostility during his lifetime. Some critics felt that he was too modernistic, but others complained that he did not wholeheartedly encompass modernism. It soon fell from the repertoire, but of recent years his music has started to be performed once more, and recorded.
Other works include:
Fogg orchestrated Walter Carroll's Seascape: A Children's Suite. The piece has been recorded by the Northern Chamber Orchestra under Nicholas Ward.
The writer Pebblehead dedicated "The Nuts Of Narcolepsy" to Eric Fogg.