Music
Albert Ketèlbey

Biography

Albert Ketèlbey was a leading composer of light music – a genre, relying on good tunes in undemanding miniature forms, which was popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in cafés and theatres, on piers and bandstands, and ...

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Biography

Albert Ketèlbey was a leading composer of light music – a genre, relying on good tunes in undemanding miniature forms, which was popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in cafés and theatres, on piers and bandstands, and later on 78rpm records and radio, and which is now enjoying a nostalgic revival on CD.

Born in Birmingham, Ketèlbey enjoyed childhood success as a composer, and at the age of 13 won a scholarship to Trinity College of Music in London, where he studied piano, cello and several other instruments. While still at Trinity, he worked as a church organist and a touring pianist, and later he became musical director of a light opera company and a London theatre. He won two composing competitions in 1912, and had his first big success three years later with In a Monastery Garden.

This was followed by numerous other pieces with similarly evocative titles: among the most popular were In a Persian Market, Bells across the Meadows and Wedgwood Blue. He also composed music for military band, mood music for use in the ‘silent’ cinema, and solo piano pieces – some of them, Russian in style, under the pseudonym Anton Vodorinski.

Ketèlbey acted as music editor for London publishers and musical director of the Columbia Gramophone Company, and conducted his own music at home and abroad, notably with the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra. But in later years he rarely left his home on the Isle of Wight, where he died in 1959.

Profile © Anthony Burton


Tracks (16)

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In a Persian Market
In a Persian Market
In a Persian Market
Cluicheadair
Ronald Corp
The New London Orchestra and Chorus
Bells across the meadows - intermezzo
Bells across the meadows - intermezzo
In a Persian market - intermezzo for orchestra with optional chorus
In a Persian market - intermezzo for orchestra with optional chorus
In a Chinese Temple Garden (feat. Robert Sharples)
In a Chinese Temple Garden (feat. Robert Sharples)
In a Chinese Temple Garden (feat. Robert Sharples)
Cluicheadair
Composer
Prìomh Chluicheadair
Bells Across the Meadows - Intermezzo (feat. The New London Orchestra)
Bells Across the Meadows - Intermezzo (feat. The New London Orchestra)
Bells Across the Meadows - Intermezzo (feat. The New London Orchestra)
Composer
Prìomh Chluicheadair
Luchdaich tuilleadh phìosan ciùil
Cuir an ceòl as fheàrr leat ris

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