Friday, February 11, 2022

FRIDAY MUSIC: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, by JD

"One of the most remarkable stories in the chequered history of British music is the fact that an underprivileged coloured boy from a broken home rose swiftly to become one of the best-known of all British composers and the first to win acclaim in the US – only to die an early death from overwork and be slowly, though never completely, forgotten.

"Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (the hyphen was a clerical error, but he found the double-barrel worked to his advantage) was born in Holborn, London in 1875, the illegitimate son of Daniel Taylor, a Creole doctor from Sierra Leone who practised in Croydon, where he met Samuel’s mother, Alice Martin. Contrary to the story that Daniel returned to Africa because his career was blighted by Victorian prejudice, he left England to take up an appointment as Imperial Coroner for the Gambia; he kept in touch with Alice’s family and later helped to promote his son’s reputation in Sierra Leone"

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