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Bowen, York

Edwin York Bowen (22 February 1884 – 23 November 1961) was a pianist and composer from England. Bowen's musical career lasted more than fifty years, and he composed over 160 pieces throughout that period. Bowen was a gifted conductor, organist, violist, and horn player and pianist, and composer. Many of the composer's compositions remained unpublished and unperformed until after his death in 1961, despite his great popularity during his lifetime. Bowen's composing approach is frequently referred to as "Romantic," His compositions are known for their rich harmonic language. He was one of the most well-known English piano composers of his day. York Bowen was born in Crouch Hill, London, to a father who owned the Bowen and McKechnie whiskey distillery. Bowen, the youngest of three boys, started piano and harmony lessons with his mother when he was very young. His skill was quickly recognized, and he enrolled at the North Metropolitan College of Music to further his musical studies. He went on to study under Alfred Izard at the Blackheath Conservatoire of Music.

Bowen received an Erard scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music when he was fourteen years old in 1898. He studied composition with Frederick Corder and piano under Tobias Matthay there until 1905. Bowen received several prizes at the Royal Academy of Music, including the Sterndale Bennett Prize and the Worshipful Company of Musicians Medal. Bowen received a fellowship from the Royal Academy of Music in 1907 and was named professor two years later.

Bowen married Sylvia Dalton, the daughter of a Somerset priest, in 1912. A year later, their son Philip was born. The First World War was fought between 1914 and 1918. Bowen played in the Scots Guards Band, but during service in France, he contracted pneumonia and was forced to return to the UK. Bowen returned to composing and performing after the war and continued to work as a teacher, examiner, lecturer, and adjudicator. He taught for almost forty years at the Tobias Matthay Piano School and was a professor at the Royal Academy of Music until he died in 1961. Myers Foggin, Derek Holman, Charles Lynch, Ivor Newton, Kathleen Richards, Betty Roe, Leo Rowlands, and Timothy Salter were pupils.

The Sunday Express Prize for March RAF (1919), the Chappell's Orchestral Suite Prize, and the Hawkes and Co. Prize for Intermezzo was among the awards Bowen received for his compositions (1920).

Viola Compositions of York Bowen | Animato Strings


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