Sullivan, Arthur Seymour
b Lambeth, Surrey (S London) 1842, d Westminster, London 1900. First learning music from his father who was a sergeant-bandmaster at Sandhurst, he showed early promise on the piano and with wind instruments, composing his first music at the age of 8. Pupil/chorister at the Chapel Royal, where he wrote his first anthem and first song; studied at RAM and at the Leipzig Conservatorium (on a Mendelssohn scholarship) 1858–61. Organist at St Michael’s Chester Sq, C London, 1861–67, where he formed a police choir dubbed ‘The Harmonious Bluebottles’, and St Peter’s Cranley Gdns until 1871. Prof at RAM 1866, organist at Covent Garden opera, and a nationally famous conductor. He composed anthems, service music and hymn tunes; edited Church Hymns 1874. DMus (Cambridge 1876, Oxford 1879); knighted 1883. 56 Hymn Tunes were published posthumously in 1902, but his best-known work remains the lyrical music, possibly more congenial to him, of the comic Savoy Operas for which Wm S Gilbert (1836–1911) wrote the libretto. The heyday of the ‘G&S’ series lasted essentially between 1875 and 1889, from Trial by Jury, their first major success, to The Gondoliers. Sullivan was also known as a high-society clubman, gambler and race-goer; see the notes in Grove. Nos.56=837, 177=568, 362*, 475, 575, 758, 918, 931, 959*.