Parry, Charles Hubert Hastings
b Bournemouth 1848, d Rustington, Sussex 1918. He began to compose at the age of 8; Twyford Sch nr Winchester (where he met S S Wesley); Eton Coll (where he met Sir Geo Elvey), during which time he gained an Oxford BMus; Exeter Coll Oxford (MA, Law and Mod History, meanwhile fitting in musical study in Stuttgart in 1867). His piano technique owed something to Wagner, whose work he admired. After 5 years in London business, spent at Lloyd’s Register to please his unsympathetic father (a well-known painter), he studied briefly under Sterndale Bennett and the Wagner enthusiast Edward Dannreuther before at last proceeding to the fledgling RCM. There he was Prof, becoming its Director in 1894. He was a prolific composer of choral and orchestral music, very English in character; his 1887 setting of Milton’s Blest pair of sirens being specially noteworthy, the first of 3 oratorios (Judith) being acclaimed in 1888 and his later unaccompanied motets ‘particularly admired’. From 1900 to 1908 he was Oxford’s Prof of Music. Among other work he composed school songs; he was an author on many musical subjects; keen on theatre, science, architecture and many sports notably yachting; adventurous by land and sea. By the 1890s he was seen as the nation’s unofficial ‘Composer Laureate’, knighted in 1898; see a full account in Grove of which he was an early editor, contributing some 100 articles. Nos.12=102, 132=592, 172, 342.