Edgar Bainton (1880–1956) was a pupil of Stanford’s at the Royal College of Music. He spent much of his life in Newcastle-upon-Tyne as a teacher and principal at the Conservatoire. At the outbreak of World War I, Bainton was abroad, and subsequently was interned in Ruhleben. After the war he returned to Newcastle and once again became an active force in music-making in the north-east. In recognition of his work and influence, and prior to him leaving England to take up the appointment as director of the New South Wales State Conservatorium in Sydney, the University of Durham awarded him the degree of DMus honoris causa and he was also elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Music. Although not a prolific composer—and somewhat ignored as a composer in England—he did have some success with his operas in Australia.
The anthem And I saw a new heaven is typical of Bainton’s work in that he was attracted to late-romantic harmony without indulging in the folksong-influenced modal harmonies which characterize much of the music of his English contemporaries such as Vaughan Williams.
from notes by William McVicker © 1991