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Berners, Lord

Berners, Lord ( Gerald Hugh Tyrwhitt-Wilson) (b Apley Park, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, 1883; d Faringdon, Berks., 1950). Eng. composer, also painter, author, and diplomat. Career as diplomat 1909–20, mainly in Rome. Early works pubd. under name Gerald Tyrwhitt. Had advice and lessons in Rome from Casella and Stravinsky. Marked gift for mus. satire and parody, as exemplified in his Fragments psychologiques, pf. (1915); 3 Little Funeral Marches, pf. (1916); 3 Orchestral Pieces (1918); Fantaisie espagnole, orch. (1918–19); Valses bourgeoises, 2 pf. (1919); and Fugue in C minor for orch. (1924). Set Mérimée's Le Carrosse du Saint- Sacrement as 1-act opera (prod. Paris 1924). His best-known work is the ballet The Triumph of Neptune (London, 3 Dec. 1926). Other ballets were Luna Park (1930 Cochran revue); A Wedding Bouquet (London 1936), which has choral parts to words by Gertrude Stein; Cupid and Psyche (1938); and Les Sirènes (1946). Also wrote L'Uomo dai Baffi, solo woodwind, pf., str. (1918); 3 Songs in the German manner (1913–19); 3 Chansons (1919–20); 3 Sea Shanties (1921); and pf. piece Portsmouth Point (1920). Succeeded to barony 1918. Autobiography, First Childhood (1934) and A Distant Prospect (1945), highly recommended. Comp. mus. for film Nicholas Nickleby (1946), and other film scores. Also wrote novel Far from the Madding War (1941).

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