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 and became an American 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 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.
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Birth and Death Data: Born July 8, 1882 (Melbourne), Died February 20, 1961 (White Plains)
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1914 - 1945
Roles Represented in DAHR: piano, composer, arranger, conductor, guitar, harmonium
= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.
Recordings (Results 26-50 of 160 records)
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Columbia||79716||10-in.||2/5/1921||The gum-suckers march||Percy Grainger||Piano solo||composer, instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||80487||10-in.||8/2/1922||Cradle song||Percy Grainger||Piano solo||instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||80488||10-in.||8/2/1922||Spoon River||Percy Grainger||Piano solo||arranger, instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||80489||10-in.||8/2/1922||Eastern intermezzo||Percy Grainger||Piano solo||composer, instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||80490||10-in.||8/2/1922||Etude in A flat||Percy Grainger||Piano solo||instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||81298||10-in.||10/27/1923||To a water-lily||Percy Grainger||Piano solo||instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||81299||10-in.||10/27/1923||Gavotte||Percy Grainger||Piano solo||instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||81323||10-in.||10/31/1923||Golliwogg's cake walk||Percy Grainger||Piano solo||instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||81324||10-in.||10/31/1923||Rustle of spring||Percy Grainger||Piano solo||instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||81582||10-in.||2/23/1924||Scherzo, op. 31, no. 2||Percy Grainger||Piano solo||instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||81583||10-in.||2/23/1924||Scherzo, op. 31, no. 2||Percy Grainger||Piano solo||instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||81587||10-in.||2/27/1924||Why?||Percy Grainger||Piano solo||instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||81588||10-in.||2/27/1924||Water music : Hornpipe||Percy Grainger||Piano solo||arranger, instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||49243||12-in.||8/29/1917||Second Hungarian rhapsody||Percy Grainger||Piano solo||instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||49248||12-in.||9/19/1917||Second Hungarian rhapsody||Percy Grainger||Piano solo||instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||49249||12-in.||9/19/1917||Norwegian bridal procession||Percy Grainger||Piano solo||instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||49281||12-in.||12/3/1917||Valse in A flat||Percy Grainger||Piano solo||instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||49295||12-in.||1/2/1918||Paraphrase on Tchaikowsky's flower waltz||Percy Grainger||Piano solo||instrumentalist, piano, composer|
|Columbia||49296||12-in.||1/2/1918||Polonaise in A flat major||Percy Grainger||Piano solo||instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||49441||12-in.||6/7/1918||Prelude in A-flat||Percy Grainger||Piano solo||instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||49442||12-in.||6/7/1918||Country gardens||Percy Grainger||Piano solo||instrumentalist, piano, composer|
|Columbia||49561||12-in.||12/17/1918||Hungarian fantasy||Percy Grainger||Piano and orchestra||instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||49562||12-in.||12/17/1918||Hungarian fantasy||Percy Grainger||Piano and orchestra||instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||49638||12-in.||6/16/1919||Toccata in C-sharp minor||Percy Grainger||Piano solo||instrumentalist, piano|
|Columbia||49639||12-in.||6/17/1919||Polish dance in E flat minor||Percy Grainger||Piano solo||instrumentalist, piano|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Grainger, Percy," accessed March 31, 2023, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102572.
Grainger, Percy. (2023). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved March 31, 2023, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102572.
"Grainger, Percy." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2023. Web. 31 March 2023.
DAHR Persistent Identifier
Wikipedia: Percy Grainger
Discogs: Percy Grainger
Allmusic: Percy Grainger
Linked Open Data Sources
LCNAR: Grainger, Percy, 1882-1961 - http://id.loc.gov/authorities/names/n79124007
Wikidata: Percy Grainger - http://www.wikidata.org/entity/Q318354
MusicBrainz: Percy Grainger - https://musicbrainz.org/artist/9d5a875f-9815-4384-9e4f-cd4ea4f2bc16
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