Havergal Brian

Havergal Brian (born William Brian; 29 January 1876 – 28 November 1972) was an English classical composer.

Brian is best known for his cycle of 32 symphonies (an unusually high total for a 20th-century composer), most of which were composed late in his life, though his best known work is his Symphony No. 1, The Gothic, which calls for some of the largest orchestral forces demanded by a conventionally structured concert work. He also composed five operas and a number of other orchestral works, as well as songs, choral music and a small amount of chamber music.

Brian enjoyed a period of popularity earlier in his career and rediscovery in the 1950s. Public performances of his music have remained rare however, and he has remained the subject of a small but enthusiastic following rather than general popularity: he has been described as a 'cult composer'. He continued to be extremely productive late into his career, composing large works even into his nineties, the majority of which remained unperformed during his lifetime.

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