Percy Grainger, Date of Birth, Place of Birth, Date of Death


Percy Grainger

Australian composer, arranger and pianist

Date of Birth: 08-Jul-1882

Place of Birth: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Date of Death: 20-Feb-1961

Profession: composer, conductor, pianist, university teacher, saxophonist, musicologist, ethnomusicologist

Nationality: United States, Australia

Zodiac Sign: Cancer

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About Percy Grainger

  • Percy Aldridge Grainger (born George Percy Grainger; 8 July 1882 – 20 February 1961) was an Australian-born composer, arranger and pianist who lived in the United States from 1914 on and became a citizen in 1918.
  • In the course of a long and innovative career, he played a prominent role in the revival of interest in British folk music in the early years of the 20th century.
  • Although much of his work was experimental and unusual, the piece with which he is most generally associated is his piano arrangement of the folk-dance tune "Country Gardens". Grainger left Australia at the age of 13 to attend the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt.
  • Between 1901 and 1914 he was based in London, where he established himself first as a society pianist and later as a concert performer, composer and collector of original folk melodies.
  • As his reputation grew he met many of the significant figures in European music, forming important friendships with Frederick Delius and Edvard Grieg.
  • He became a champion of Nordic music and culture, his enthusiasm for which he often expressed in private letters, sometimes in crudely racial or anti-Semitic terms. In 1914, Grainger moved to the United States, where he lived for the rest of his life, though he travelled widely in Europe and in Australia.
  • He served briefly as a bandsman in the United States Army during the First World War through 1917–18, and took American citizenship in 1918.
  • After his mother's suicide in 1922, he became increasingly involved in educational work.
  • He also experimented with music machines, which he hoped would supersede human interpretation.
  • In the 1930s he set up the Grainger Museum in Melbourne, his birthplace, as a monument to his life and works, and as a future research archive.
  • As he grew older, he continued to give concerts and to revise and rearrange his own compositions, while writing little new music.
  • After the Second World War, ill health reduced his levels of activity.
  • He considered his career a failure.
  • He gave his last concert in 1960, less than a year before his death.

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