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Stanley Bate

Saturday, 28th January 2012

Stanley Richard Bate was born in what was once called Swilly - now 'North Prospect' - a suburb of Plymouth, England in 1911. His musicality was recognised at a young age and through the financial support of a local philanthropist - Casanova Ballard - he was able to take up composition studies at the Royal College of Music. His composition tutor was Ralph Vaughen Williams.

At college he won several prizes including 'the W.W. Cobbett (for an early String Quartet, 1933), the Ernest Farrar in 1935...and in 1936 the Sullivan' (see link below).

He went on to study with Nadia Boulanger and later, Hindemith whilst on a traveling scholarship. Nadia Boulanger remarked that, '"Among the young composers of today, very few have such importance as his. He possesses personality, strength, originality and also a natural vein which makes his music a pleasure for the amateur as well as the professional musician. Bate is also a remarkable pianist and his contribution to contemporary music is rather exceptional." (see article below). He won commissions and gave performances as a soloist in Australia and Europe.

Stanley Bate is a forgotten composer. Despite his prolific output and performances of his work across the globe during his lifetime, he is seldom remembered and his works are seldom performed. Composer Benjamin Britten may have contributed to this outcome; Virgil Thomson states that Britten led a 'wilful war on Stanley Bate's career' (see article below).

Follow this link to read a biographical article about this composer: 'STANLEY BATE - Forgotten International Composer'.

LISTEN to excerpts from his Viola Concerto here: Stanley Bate - Viola Concerto.