Ireland, John Nicholson


b Bowdon, nr Altrincham, Gtr Manchester (Ches) 1879, d Rock Mill, Washington, nr Steyning, W Sussex 1962. Born into a literary but less than happy family and losing both parents in his early years, he attended Leeds Grammar Sch and RCM, where from the age of 14 he studied piano and (under C Stanford) composition, 1893–1901; FRCO 1895. His work as organist and choirmaster in London included the post at St Luke’s Chelsea 1904–26, during which time his 2nd sonata for violin and piano firmly established his reputation. By 1908 his perfectionism persuaded him to destroy everything he had written up to that point. Returning to the RCM in 1923, he taught composition there until 1939. He retired to Guernsey but when faced in 1940 with the Nazi invasion he settled in Sussex. He composed chamber music, and items for organ, orchestra (notably A London Overture) and choir, his piano music and 90 or so songs being outstanding. One outstanding hymn tune has done much for appreciation of the classic text to which it is usually set. Hon MusD, Durham (1932); Hon FRCM, Hon RAM. The John Ireland Soc was formed in 1960. No.403.

Tunes and arrangements by Ireland, John Nicholson

Tune Name
Love Unknown