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Arthur Somervell

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Sir Arthur Somervell (5 June 1863 – 2 May 1937) was an English composer and art song writer. After Hubert Parry, he was one of the most successful and influential writers of art song in the English music renaissance of the 1890s–1900s. One of his best-known works is his English-language adaptation of a Handel aria, "Silent Worship".
He was born in Windermere, Westmorland, the son of shoe-manufacturer (founder of K Shoes, earlier Somervell Brothers) Robert Miller Somervell JP of "Hazelthwaite" at Winderemere (1821-1899). The Somervell (originally Somerville) family came from Scotland, settling in London in the 1700s. Arthur Somervell's brother, shoe-manufacturer Colin Somervell was later High Sheriff of Westmorland in 1916, as was Colin's son, Maj. Arnold Colin Somervell, O.B.E. in 1936, and, later, other members of the Somervell family.
Somervell was initially educated at Uppingham School and King's College, Cambridge, where he studied composition under Sir Charles Villiers Stanford. From 1883 to 1885 he studied at the High School for Music, Berlin, and from 1885 to 1887 at the Royal College of Music in London, under Parry. He studied composition with Friedrich Kiel. He became a professor at the Royal College of Music in 1894, and conducted his own works at the Leeds and Birmingham Festivals, 1895-97. He was appointed Inspector of Music at the Board of Education and Scottish Education Department in 1901, and in June the following year received the degree Doctor of Music from the University of Cambridge.
He achieved success in his own day as a composer of choral works such as The Forsaken Merman (1895), Intimations of Immortality (which he conducted at Leeds Festival in 1907), and The Passion of Christ (1914) but is now chiefly remembered for his song cycles such as Maud (after Tennyson, 1898) and the first known setting (1904) of A. E. Housman's A Shropshire Lad. His popular Handel adaptation "Silent Worship" was featured in the 1996 film Emma.
His style was conservative, and shows the influence of Mendelssohn and Brahms. He was also active in music education, and became Principal Inspector of Music for the Board of Education in 1920. He was knighted in 1929. His Violin Concerto of 1930 was dedicated to the violinist Adila Fachiri.
In 1890 Somervell married Edith Lance Collet (1861-1944), and through his daughter Katherine ('Kit'), a dancer with Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, was grandfather of the writer Elizabeth Jane Howard.
The "Thalassa" Symphony in D minor (The Sea Symphony), received its world premiere recording in 2011 for Cameo Classics, nearly 100 years after its composition. Written in 1912, the second movement, 'Elegy', commemorates Robert Falcon Scott's death in the Antarctic that year. The Malta Philharmonic Orchestra was conducted by its Musical Director, Michael Laus.