Cyril Scott

In 19th Century, 20th Century, Composers by Vogler & Lindqvist1 Comment

“Cyril Scott’s life (1879-1970) covered an enormous span of developments in the world; in adulthood he could recall a day when his teachers in Frankfurt took time off to attend the funeral of Johannes Brahms and, near the end of his life, he watched the first moon landing on television.”


Scott was the son of a shipper/greek scholar and a piano playing mother. At the age of 12 he was sent to Frankfurt to study at the Hoch‘s Conservatory: Piano with L. Uzzielli – a pupil of Clara Schumman‘s and musical theory with Engelbert Humperdick.

After a short time at home he returned to Frankfurt to study composition, along with Percy Grainger and Roger Quilter.

Cyril Scott seemed to know everybody: not only composers such as Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy (who described him as an exceptional artist of his generation) but also H. G. Wells, George Bernhard Shaw and Stefan George. Hans Richter conducted Scott‘s „Heroic Suite“ and Fritz Kreisler played the violin in his g-minor piano quartet.

A prolific composer, Scott wrote some four hundred works including: four symphonies, three operas, two piano concertos, four oratorios, concertos for violin, cello, oboe and harpsichord, several overtures, tone poems, many chamber works and innumerable songs.

Apart from composing and touring the world as a concert pianist Cyril Scott was a translator and a writer of poetry and prose. He also wrote the lyrics for many of his songs and the libretti for his operas.
He wrote a total of forty-one books plus innumerable articles for magazines and journals. His writings covered many subjects, including alternative medicine, ethics, philosophy, occultism, music, christianity and humour. Some of the titles are: „Music: Its Secret Influence Throughout the Ages“, „Autobiography: My Years of Indiscretion“, „Victory over Cancer“, „Constipation and Commonsense“, „The Art of Making a Perfect Husband“ and „Outline of Modern Occultism“.

As if this wasn‘t enough he also painted very beautiful pictures.

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  1. Folks:

    Thank you for posting this biographical note. Rennaissance Peope are a fascinating lot. Their interests are free-ranging and their intelligences are formidable. I am so sorry to have not encountered his works before, but am delighted to have this introduction.

    Truly, Peter

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