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Percy Grainger

Percy Aldridge Grainger (born George Percy Grainger; 8 July 1882 – 20 February 1961) was an Australian-born composer, arranger and pianist who lived in the United States from 1914 on and became a citizen in 1918. In the course of a long and innovative career, he played a prominent role in the revival of interest in British folk music in the early years of the 20th century. Although much of his work was experimental and unusual, the piece with which he is most generally associated is his piano arrangement of the folk-dance tune "Country Gardens".

Grainger left Australia at the age of 13 to attend the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt. Between 1901 and 1914 he was based in London, where he established himself first as a society pianist and later as a concert performer, composer and collector of original folk melodies. As his reputation grew he met many of the significant figures in European music, forming important friendships with Frederick Delius and Edvard Grieg. He became a champion of Nordic music and culture, his enthusiasm for which he often expressed in private letters, sometimes in crudely racial or anti-Semitic terms.

In 1914, Grainger moved to the United States, where he lived for the rest of his life, though he travelled widely in Europe and in Australia. He served briefly as a bandsman in the United States Army during the First World War through 1917–18, and took American citizenship in 1918. After his mother's suicide in 1922, he became increasingly involved in educational work. He also experimented with music machines, which he hoped would supersede human interpretation. In the 1930s he set up the Grainger Museum in Melbourne, his birthplace, as a monument to his life and works, and as a future research archive. As he grew older, he continued to give concerts and to revise and rearrange his own compositions, while writing little new music. After the Second World War, ill health reduced his levels of activity. He considered his career a failure. He gave his last concert in 1960, less than a year before his death.

Birth and Death Data: Born July 8th, 1882 (Melbourne), Died White Plains

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1915 - 1945

Roles Represented in DAHR: piano, composer, arranger, conductor, guitar, harmonium

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 156 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-16639 10-in. 10/11/1915 Irish tune from County Derry Victor Concert Orchestra Orchestra arranger, composer  
Victor B-16738 10-in. 11/2/1915 Shepherd's hey Victor Concert Orchestra Orchestra, with harp and xylophone arranger  
Victor BVE-16738 10-in. 6/29/1927 Shepherd's hey Victor Concert Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor B-17789 10-in. 6/5/1916 Molly on the shore Maud Powell Violin solo, with piano composer  
Victor C-21912 12-in. 5/9/1918 Molly on the shore Flonzaley Quartet String quartet composer  
Victor B-29846 10-in. 3/27/1924 Molly on the shore Fritz Kreisler Violin solo, with piano composer  
Victor B-30760 10-in. 9/9/1924 Irish tune from County Derry Mark Andrews Pipe organ solo composer  
Victor BVE-32700 10-in. 5/12/1925 Shepherd's hey Ossip Gabrilowitsch Piano solo composer  
Victor BVE-38097 10-in. 6/29/1927 Country gardens Rosario Bourdon ; Victor Concert Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor BVE-51829 10-in. 4/25/1929 Londonderry air Philadelphia Chamber String Sinfonietta ; Fabien Sevitzky String orchestra composer  
Victor CVE-51830 12-in. 4/25/1929 Molly on the shore Philadelphia Chamber String Sinfonietta ; Fabien Sevitzky String orchestra composer  
Victor CVE-59898 12-in. 4/8/1930 Over the hills and far away Rosario Bourdon ; Victor Symphony Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor CVE-59899 12-in. 4/8/1930 Colonial song Rosario Bourdon ; Victor Symphony Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor BVE-81500 10-in. 1/16/1934 Shepherd's hey Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra ; Eugene Ormandy Orchestra composer  
Victor CVE-81501 12-in. 1/16/1934 Molly on the shore, no. 1 Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra ; Eugene Ormandy Orchestra composer  
Victor CVE-81502 12-in. 1/16/1934 Londonderry air Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra ; Eugene Ormandy String orchestra, with 2 horns composer  
Victor BVE-81503 10-in. 1/16/1934 Country gardens Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra ; Eugene Ormandy Orchestra composer  
Victor BS-057049 10-in. 10/29/1940 Londonderry air Collins H. Driggs Novachord solo arranger  
Victor BRC-Test-1115 10-in. 4/17/1931 Canción del fado Nino Martini Male vocal solo, with piano composer  
Columbia 77294 10-in. 8/28/1917 Maguire's kick Percy Grainger Piano solo instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 77295 10-in. 8/28/1917 Irish tune from County Derry Percy Grainger Piano solo instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Columbia 77303 10-in. 9/1/1917 The gum sucker's march Percy Grainger Piano solo, with band instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Columbia 77605 10-in. 1/3/1918 One more day, my John (Sailors' sea chanty) Percy Grainger Piano solo instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Columbia 77611 10-in. 1/5/1918 To the springtime Percy Grainger Piano solo instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 79715 10-in. 2/5/1921 Turkey in the straw Percy Grainger Piano solo instrumentalist, piano  
(Results 1-25 of 156 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Grainger, Percy," accessed August 12, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102572.

Grainger, Percy. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved August 12, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102572.

"Grainger, Percy." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 12 August 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102572

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