Oliver Soden

Oliver Soden is the author of a biography of Michael Tippett. Masquerade: The Lives of Noël Coward will be published next year.

In March​ 1918, Ivor Gurney spoke to Beethoven. It was three years since the war had interrupted his studies at the Royal College of Music, and a few months since he had ended up in a casualty clearing station in France, his right arm wounded and his lungs gassed, correcting the proofs of his verse collection Severn and Somme. Back in Britain, he drifted from hospital to hospital, diagnosed...

Coward absorbed many of the ideals of the lower-middle-class Edwardian England in which he grew up and never repudiated them. Patriotic, enthusiastic about the Empire, mistrustful of intellectualism and...

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Michael Tippett’s freewheeling creative spirit had started to rub the British classical music establishment up the wrong way. He was going rogue at a time when much British music sounded stiff, rule-bound...

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