Highlights in the Life of Cyril Scott: 1879-1970
by Desmond Scott
- Cyril Scott is youngest of three children born to Henry and Mary (née Griffiths) Scott on September 27 in Oxton, a village in the North of England near Liverpool.
- Father a businessman in shipping and a Greek scholar.
- Shows early talent for music, picking out tunes on piano almost before talking.
- Enrolls in the Frankfurt Conservatoire to study piano
- Returns to England.
- Continues piano studies
- Interested in composition, returns to Frankfurt to study with Ivan Knorr.
- Meets Norman O’Neill, Roger Quilter, Balfour Gardiner and Percy Grainger (The Frankfurt Group).
- Also meets the German poet Stefan George and his illustrator Melchior Lechter, both of whom have profound influence on his life.
Leaves Frankfurt and returns to England.
- Settles in Liverpool.
- Meets Charles Bonnier who inspires him to write poetry.
- Composes a number of works including:
- Symphony No 1,
- Piano Trio,
- several songs and small piano pieces,
- G minor String Quartet
- Sänge eines fahrenden Spielmanns to verses by Stefan George
- almost all of these he later withdraws as immature.
- First Symphony performed in Darmstadt,
- thanks to Stefan George introducing him to conductor Willem de Haan.
- Later withdraws symphony as immature.
- Overture to Pelleas & Melisande performed in Frankfurt.
- Also withdrawn later.
- Around this time begins writing poetry.
- Heroic Suite performed in Liverpool by the Hallé Orchestra under Hans Richter.
- Later withdraws it as immature.
- Princess Maleine Overture premiered in London by the Queen’s Hall Orchestra under Sir Henry Wood.
- G minor String Quartet performed in Liverpool with Fritz Kreisler and Scott, which when performed later in London brings him wide public attention.
- Second Symphony performed by the Queen’s Hall Orchestra at a Promenade concert conducted by Sir Henry Wood.
- Later withdraws it.
- String Quartet
- Piano Sextet
- and many songs and piano pieces including Pierrot Triste and Pierrot Gai.
- While in London attends lecture by Annie Besant and becomes interested in Theosophy.
- Visits Paris. Meets Fauré, Ravel and Debussy.
- On return to England becomes interested in Raja Yoga and then in Occultism.
- Lyric Suite for Orchestra dedicated to Melchior Lechter performed by the Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra conducted by Scott.
- Signs contract with music publisher Elkin to produce a number of songs and piano pieces each year which proves a mixed blessing as it “deflected attention from my more serious works.”
- Moves to London.
- Composes two of his best known pieces, the song Don’t Come in Sir, Please! and Lotus Land.
- Around this time publishes first volume of poetry: The Shadows of Silence and the Songs of Yesterday
- Composes Aubade for Orchestra, Violin Sonata No 1 and Blackbird’s Song.
- Aubade performed in Birmingham.
- Christmas Overture premiered by the London Symphony Orchestra under Sir Landon Ronald.
- Publishes second volume of poetry: The Grave of Eros and The Book of Mournful Melodies, with Dreams from the East published in Liverpool by the Lyceum Press.
- Revises Symphony No 2 into Three Symphonic Dances.
- Composes Danse Nègre and Lullaby, two Etudes, a Prelude, a Nocturne and a Serenade.
- Violin Sonata No l in C performed in London at the Bechstein Hall with Scott and Barnes.
- Revises early Piano Sonata in D as Handelian Rhapsody,
- dedicated to and edited by Percy Grainger.
- Writes new Piano Sonata (op.66). Performs it in London at the Bechstein Hall.
- Translations of Baudelaire’s The Flowers of Evil published by E. Mathews.
- Tallahassee Suite for violin and piano,
- Deuxième Suite for piano dedicated to Debussy,
- Valse Triste and Water Wagtail
- and a number of other songs and piano pieces.
- Second volume of poetry The Voice of the Ancient published by J.M. Watkins, London.
- Translations of poems by Stefan George, Selections from His Works, published by E. Mathews
- Revised Aubades performed in Berlin at the Blüther-Haus conducted by Siegmund von Hausegger.
- Composes many songs and piano pieces including Poems, a Suite of five pieces for which he also wrote verses.
- Orchestral version of two of the Poems premiered by Sir Henry Wood and the Queen's Hall Orchestra at a Promenade concert in London.
- Deuxième Suite premiered by Scott in London at the Bechstein Hall and the following year in Paris at the Societé Musicale Indépendante.
- Third volume of poetry, The Vales of Unity published by D.Nutt, London.
- On invitation from Mahler's widow visits Vienna. Scores great success.
- Cyril Scott evenings given in Frankfurt and Cologne as well as in Vienna.
- Piano Concerto No 1
- Ballet Suite for Orchestra
- Pastoral Suite for piano.
- Two Passacaglias on Irish Themes premiered by Sir Thomas Beecham with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Queen's Hall in London.
- European tour of Piano Concerto cancelled due to outbreak of WW1.
- Performance of Nativity Hymn for solo voices, chorus and Orchestra planned for Vienna also cancelled.
- Revises Piano Sextet (1903) into Quintet.
- La belle dame sans merci for vocal duet and piano premiered in London at the Bechstein Hall.
- Piano Concerto No 1 performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Queen's Hall, London.
- Fifth volume of poetry The Celestial Aftermath: A Springtime of the Heart and Far-Away Songs published by Chatto & Windus, London.
- Composes Russian Dance for Benno Moiseiwitsch.
- Continues to write many piano pieces including the Little Russian Suite and Rainbow-Trout.
- Revises La Belle Dame for solo, chorus and orchestra.
- Writes the libretto and composes opera in one act, The Alchemist.
- Composes Rondeau de Concert for Benno Moiseiwitsch.
- Becomes friends with G.B. Shaw.
- Meets George Moore, Henry James, H.G. Wells and Arnold Bennett.
- The Autobiography of a Child: Written from the Psycho-Sexual-Analytical Standpoint for Doctors, Teachers and Psychologists published in London by Paul, Trench & Trubner.
- Written anonymously the book is banned and the entire edition burnt!
- Writes The Philosophy of Modernism: Its Connection with Music published in London by the Waverley Music Lovers' Library.
- Biography of Scott by A. Eaglefield Hull published by Paul, Trench & Trubner.
- Composes Quintet for Two Violins, Viola and Two Cellos and String Quartet both premiered in London at the Wigmore (formerly Bechstein) Hall by the Philharmonic String Quartet.
- Idyllic Fantasy for Voice, Oboe and Cello (words by Scott) performed by Astra Desmond at the Wigmore Hall, London.
- Tours the United States and Canada.
- Makes his New York debut at the Carnegie Hall playing his Piano Concerto with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Leopold Stowkowski.
- Also conducts the Two Passacaglias.
- The Adept of Galilee: a Story and an Argument published by Routledge. Written anonymously as is The Initiate: Some Impressions of a Great Soul, the first book of a trilogy.
- Composes Piano Quintet No 1 dedicated to and performed by Evlyn Howard-Jones, piano, with the London String Quartet at the Aeolian Hall, London.
- Piano Trio No 1, premiered in London with Beatrice and May Harrison and Scott at the Wigmore Hall, London.
- Meets Nelsa Chaplin, a clairvoyant healer who has a great influence on his life.
- Marries Rose Allatini (novelist Eunice Buckley) in London.
- First English performance of Aubades conducted by Sir Eugene Goossens at the Queen's Hall, London.
- Visits Vienna with Rose (She was born there) for performances of the Piano Concerto.
- Meets Darius Milhaud.
- Composes Indian Suite for piano, Extatic Shepherd for solo flute.
- Sets a number of folk tunes to music including Cherry Ripe, Comin' thro' the Rye and By Yon Bonny Banks.
- Daughter born: Vivien Mary Scott.
- Composes Orchestral Ballet The Incompetent Apothecary
- Composes and writes libretto for 1 act Opera Saint of the Mountains.
- Composes orchestrral ballet Karma Suite for André Charlot.
- Premiered same year in Charlot's Revue.
- Writes first autobiography My Years of Indiscretion published in London by Mills & Boon.
- Composes one act Opera The Shrine, incidental music for Smetse Smee, from a story based on an old Flemish legend.
- Composes Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra for May and Beatrice Harrison.
- Whereabouts of score not known.
- Composes Quintet for Flute, Harp, Violin, Viola, Violoncello; dedicated to René Le Roy.
- Celtic Fantasy for solo harp dedicated to Sidonie Goossens.
- First performance not given until 1999 on the occasion of Goossens' 100th birthday.
- Son born,: Desmond Cyril Scott
- Composes Sonatina for Guitar for Andrés Segovia and Rima’s Call to the Birds for Soprano and String Quartet.
- Dedicated to Gertrude Johnson
- performed by her and the Brosa Quartet at the Wigmore Hall in London.
- Also arranges Rima’s Call to the Birds for Soprano and Orchestra.
- Writes second volume of the Initiate Trilogy, The Initiate in the New World. Published in New York by E.P. Dutton.
- Composes Concerto for Violin and Orchestra.
- Premiered the same year by the Birmingham City Orchestra conducted by Sir Adrian Boult, soloist May Harrison in Birmingham.
- Composes Suite fantastique for chamber orchestra.
- Premiered the same year by the Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra conducted by Sir Dan Godfrey.
- Writes anonymously The Art of Making a Perfect Husband,
- published in London by N. Douglas
- Revises Princess Maleine as Festival Overture, which in 1934 wins Daily Telegraph prize.
- Composes The Melodist & the Nightingales for Violoncello and Orchestra for Beatrice Harrison.
- Premiered by Sir Thomas Beecham with Harrison soloist at the Queen’s Hall, London.
- Composes orchestral ballet based on Poe’s story Masque of the Red Death,
- performed in André Charlot’s Revue in London.
- Karma Suite performed in Dortmund.
- Orchestral version of Rima’s Call to the Birds premiered in Harrogate with Johnson, soloist and Basil Cameron conducting.
- Writes Childishness: A Study in Adult Conduct published in London by J. Bale, Sons & Danielsson.
- Meets New Zealand born pianist Esther Fisher and they begin two piano recitals.
- Arranges a number of works by J.S. Bach for two pianos including the Invention in F and the Gigue in G, both of which he extends and elaborates.
- Composes Concertino for Two Pianos & Orchestra,
- premiered by Scott and Fisher with the Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra under Sir Dan Godfrey December 16.
- Composes Concerto for Two Violins and Orchestra.
- Whereabouts of score not known.
- Early One Morning, a Poem for Piano and Orchestra;
- Orchestral Overture with optional Choral ending, intended to precede Nativity Hymn.
- String Trio No 1
- First Suite for Strings
- Writes introduction to Through the Eyes of the Masters by David Anrias,
- published in London by Routledge.
- Writes the Initiate in the Dark Cycle, the third volume in the Initiate series.
- Published in London by Routledge.
- Composes and writes libretto for Mirabelle, a Secular Cantata; and
- Mystic Ode for Mens’ or Mixed Chorus & Chamber Orchestra with words by Scott using pseudonym Arkwright Lundy.
- Writes Music: Its Secret Influence throughout the Ages published in London by Rider & Co.
- Composes Theme & Variations for Two Pianos dedicated to Esther Fisher.
- Premiered by Fisher & Scott in Glasgow, May 26.
- Composes Disaster at Sea, Poem for Orchestra.
- Premiered by London Philharmonic Orchestra under Albert Coates at the Queen’s Hall, October 19.
- Later revised (1935?) as Neptune, Poem of the Sea.
- Writes The Vision of the Nazarene anonymously.
- Published in London by Routledge
- Writes An Outline of Modern Occultism published in London by Routledge.
- 2nd Piano Sonata dedicated to Walter Gieseking;
- Summerland for Mixed Voices and Orchestra, text by Scott;
- four short pi eces, Benedicte, Benedictus, Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis for Mixed Chorus and Organ
- Composes Ode to Great Men (Let Us Now Praise famous Men) for Solo Tenor, Women’s chorus and Orchestra.
- Premiered with Basil Maine, soloist at the Norwich Musical Festival in Norwich.
- Writes The Greater Awareness published in London by Routledge.
- Composes Concerto for Harpsichord and Orchestra.
- Premiered 1938 by the Grande Chamber Orchestra under Angel Grande and Lucille Wallace, soloist at the Wigmore Hall, London.
- Composes Concerto for Cello and Orchestra.
- Composes Serenade for Mouth Organ and Piano for Larry Adler.
- Writes Doctors, Disease and Health: A Critical Survey of Therapeutics, Modern and Ancient. Published in London by Methuen & Co.
- Composes Sonata for Viola and Piano, premiered by Helga White and Scott at the Wigmore Hall, London.
- Composes major symphony The Muses.
- Not performed until 2003 by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra under Martyn Brabbins in Manchester.
- Writes The Ghost of a Smile, a book on humour, published in London by Andrew Dakers.
- Writes Man is My Theme published in London by Andrew Dakers.
- Writes Victory over Cancer without Radium or Surgery published in London by Methuen & Co.
- War declared September 3.
- Scott leaves London.
- Composes no music during War years except possibly Ode Descantique for string orchestra (1940?).
- Writes Health, Diet and Commonsense published by Andrew Dakers in London.
- Writes a number of plays including adaptations of Wilkie Collins’ The Moonstone and Anthony Trollope’s Barchester Towers.
- Writes The Christian Paradox: What Is, As Against What Should Have Been published in London by Rider & Co.
- Meets Marjorie Hartston.
- Accept Percy Grainger’s offer of house in Pevensey Bay, Sussex.
- Moves there with Marjorie Hartston.
- Finishes libretto for three act Opera Maureen O’Mara.
- Finishes score for Maureen O’Mara.
- Writes Crude Black Molasses, the Natural Wonder Food published in London by True Health Publishing which eventually sells in hundreds of thousands all over the world.
- Writes Medicine, Rational and Irrational also published by True Health Publishing.
- Moves to Eastbourne with Marjorie Hartston.
- Separates from Rose.
- Composes score and libretto for Hymn of Unity for Solo Voices, Chorus and Orchestra.
- Composes Concerto for Oboe and String Orchestra dedicated to Leon Goossens.
- Oboe Concerto premiered by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Stanford Robinson at an Albert Hall Promenade concert in London.
- Writes Cider Vinegar: Nature’s Great Health-Promoter and Safest Cure of Obesity
- published in London by True Health Publishing.
- Trio for Strings No 2;
- Sonata for Violin & Piano No 2;
- Sonata for Cello & Piano.
- Hourglass Suite for Chamber Orchestra published by Keith Prowse, London. Whereabouts of Score not known.
- Travels to Ireland for a concert of his works arranged by the violinist François D’Albert.
- Composes Concertino for Flute, Bassoon and String Orchestra for Archie Camden;
- Quintet for Clarinet and Strings premiered by Gervase de Peyer at a Music Teachers’ Association Concert in London.
- Composes Quintet No. 2 for Piano and Strings.
- Composes Symphony No 4
- Composes Russian Fair for Orchestra. Whereabouts of Score not known.
- Arranged Russian Fair for two pianos, Score from Novello & Co.
- Publishes (in German) The Tragedy of Stefan George published Eltville am Rhein: L. Hempe, 1952.
- Aubade for Piano and Recorder;
- Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano;
- Quintet for 2 Violins, 2 Violas and Cello.
- Writes Introduction and Afterword to The Boy Who Saw True, the diary of a young clairvoyant boy.
- Published by Neville Spearman, 1953 in London and then by C.W.Daniel.
- Writes Man the Unruly Child, published by the Aquarian Press in London.
- Writes Simpler and Safer Remedies for Grievous Ills, published by Athene Press in London.
- Sinfonietta for Organ, Harp and Strings;
- Sonata No. 3 for Violin and Piano;
- Sonata No. 3 for Piano.
- Writes Sleeplessness: Its Prevention and Cure published by Athene Press in London.
- Neapolitan Rhapsody for Orchestra;
- Sonata No. 4 for Violin and Piano.
- Writes Constipation and Commonsense published by Athene Press in London.
- Composes Trio No 3 for Piano and Strings.
- Composes Rondo Serioso for Viola d’Amore and Piano dedicated to Montagu Cleeve. Premiered by Cleeve and Scott, Wigmore Hall, London, 1958.
- Composes String Quartet No 2, dedicated to Ella and Percy Grainger, premiered by Alberni String Quartet at the Duke’s Hall, Royal Academy of Music, London 1964.
- Writes Occultism: An Alternative to Scientific Humanism published by L.N.Fowler in London.
- Composes String Quartet No. 3 premiered by the Aeolian Quartet at the Wigmore Hall, London 1961.
- Composes Piano Concerto No 2.
- Composes Trio Pastorale for Flute, Cello and Piano
- premiered at the Wigmore Hall, London, 1961.
- Composes Pastoral Ode for Piano
- dedicated to Esther Fisher and premiered by her at Wigmore Hall, 1961.
- Sonata for Flute and Piano
- Sonata for 2 Violins and Piano
- String Quartet No 4
- Writes Cancer Prevention: Fallacies and Some Reassuring Facts
- published by Athene Publishing in London.
- Completes second autobiography Bone of Contention
- published by The Aquarian Press in London, September 1969.
- Travels to London for 90th birthday celebrations.
- Moura Lympany performs Piano Concerto No 1
- Composes final work Dance Song for Piano.