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Parry, Sir Hubert (1848-1918)

Sir Hubert Parry

born: 27 February 1848
died: 7 October 1918
country: United Kingdom

Sir C Hubert H Parry (1848–1918) was one of the most important figures in late nineteenth-century English music. Parry’s role as a teacher and a writer was crucial; both he and Stanford were able to revitalize English music at a time when standards were low. Parry obtained his Batchelor of Music degree whilst still at Eton, and, before he went up to Exeter College Oxford, one of his morning services had already been sung at Magdalen College. He earned fame at school as a baritone and spent much of his time at Oxford playing sport. He had time to found the Oxford University Musical Club with C Harford Lloyd and studied privately with Sterndale Bennett and G A Macfarren. He also sampled the flavour of Continental music, studying with the Englishman Henry Hugo Pierson in Stuttgart. After Oxford he worked for Lloyd’s Shipping, but continued his musical studies with Dannreuther, who brought his work to the fore in 1880 when he played his Piano Concerto at the Crystal Palace.

Parry was appointed to the staff of the Royal College of Music in 1883 when it opened, succeeding Grove as its director the following year. In 1900 he succeeded Stainer as professor of music at Oxford. Parry made many contributions to musical literature as a scholar (especially in his later years), including his important work on Bach. Although Parry played the organ as a youth and wrote some important pieces for the instrument, the life of the cathedral musician never attracted him. He composed much church music which was quickly absorbed into the repertoires of the choral foundations.

from notes by William McVicker © 2005


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