Edgar Bainton

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Edgar Leslie Bainton (14 February 18808 December 1956) was a British composer, most celebrated for his church music. Perhaps his most famous piece is the liturgical anthem And I saw a new heaven, but during recent years Bainton's other musical works - neglected for decades - have been increasingly often heard in the concert repertoire.

Early life and career

Bainton was born in Hackney, London, the son of the Rev. George Bainton, a Congregational minister, and his wife, Mary Cave. Bainton later moved with his family to Coventry and he showed early signs of musical ability playing the piano; he was nine years old when he made his first public appearance as solo pianist. He was awarded a music scholarship to King Henry VIII Grammar School in Coventry in 1891, and in 1896, he won an open scholarship to the Royal College of Music to study theory with Walford Davies. In 1899 he received a scholarship to study composition with Sir Charles Villiers Stanford. At college he became friends with George Dyson, William Harris and especially Rutland Boughton, whose friendship and support continued throughout Bainton's career. Bainton kept a notebook listing nearly all his compositions, the first entry being his first known surviving work, Prelude and Fugue in B Minor for piano, written in 1898.

In 1901 Bainton became piano professor at the Newcastle upon Tyne Conservatory of Music. He became involved in the local musical scene, composing, playing and conducting and in 1905, he married a...
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