Ketèlbey, Albert (William)

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Ketèlbey, Albert (William)

Ketèlbey, Albert (William), English conductor and composer; b. Birmingham, Aug. 9, 1875; d. Cowes, Isle of Wight, Nov. 26, 1959. Precociously gifted in music, he wrote a piano sonata at the age of 11, and played it at the Worcester Town Hall; Elear heard it and praised it. At the age of 13, he competed for a Trinity Coll. scholarship in London, and was installed as Queen Victoria Scholar; at 16, he obtained the post of organist at St. John’s Church at Wimbledon; at 20, began tours as the conductor of a musical comedy troupe, then was a theater conductor in London. He became best known for such light orch. pieces as In a Monastery Garden (1915), In a Persian Market (1920), In a Chinese Temple Garden (1923), Sanctuary of the Heart (1924), and In the Mystic Land of Egypt (1931); also wrote many smaller pieces under various pseudonyms. His other works include the comic opera The Wonder Worker (1900) and chamber music.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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