Florence Aylward (1862 – 1950 in Sussex ) grew up in a big family „with many siblings and servants“ as the daughter of the vicar of Brede, Augustus Aylward. At the age of nine, she played the organ at her fathers‘ services and age fourteen she studied composition and piano at the Guildhall School of Music in London.
In 1881 she married the architect Harold Kinder and soon after had a son, Harold Frewen, who later sometimes wrote poems to her songs.
She didn‘t quit her musical life when she married, but continued to work as an organist in St Leonard‘s until 1946. In „The Magazine of Music“ she was hailed as „undoubtedly one of the finest accompanist of the day“ in 1893.
We found this composer following a lead from our listener clarinetist Marion Harrington, who wrote:
“The music in my family comes directly from the Aylward family…. She was noted for her ballads. The entire family was very musical – organists/music teachers/ players – and one ended up in the US as Director of Cincinnati Opera.”