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Frederick Delius (1862 - 1934)


On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring

Delius’ father was a wool merchant, and an enthusiastic amateur musician. Young Frederick first worked in his father's wool business for three years as a travelling rep, visiting Sweden, Germany and France. But his interest in music soon caused him to neglect his wool business duties. He went to Florida to manage an orange plantation (another of his father’s business interests) for a while, but again neglected his work to immerse himself in music.

After leaving Florida he lived in Paris, befriending many artists, writers, and musicians, especially Grieg. Thus began a varied life of composing, frequent hiking in the Norwegian mountains, and eventually marriage to an artist Jelka Rosen and settling in the French town of Grez-sur-Loing.

His music was much played by the English conductor Sir Thomas Beecham.

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