Langfield, Valerie 1951-

views updated

Langfield, Valerie 1951-


Born May 7, 1951, in London, England. Education: Cambridge University, M.A.; studied at Guildhall School of Music and Drama; earned diploma from the Royal College of Music; University of Birmingham, Ph.D.


Home—South Manchester, England. E-mail—rcq[email protected]


Freelance musician and senior systems analyst. British Broadcasting Corporation, London, England, senior systems analyst, worked for ten years; freelance musician in Stockport, England; University of Manchester, Manchester, England, tutor at the Centre for Continuing Education. Piano accompanist at the Heaton Mersey Youth Festival.


Roger Quilter: His Life and Music, Boydell Press (Rochester, NY), 2002.


Valerie Langfield is a freelance musician. She began taking piano lessons at age six and went on to study music and composition at Girton College, Cambridge University. She undertook post-graduate study in singing at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Langfield then went into the computer industry for seventeen years, the last ten of which she spent with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) as a senior systems analyst.

Langfield published her first book, Roger Quilter: His Life and Music, in 2002. The biography covers the life and works of English composer Roger Quilter. The composer thrived in the early twentieth century, writing a style of music considered unfashionable at a time when Carl Dalhouse and Theodor Adorno were setting the rules for what modern classical music should be. However, Quilter's songs remained a small part of vocal repertories at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

Langfield's biography covers Quilter's many illnesses, his sexuality, familial relations, and his success in professional music circles before explaining the unsavory way his estate was looted by his staff upon his death.

Byron Adams, reviewing Roger Quilter in Albion, opined that "one of the most valuable aspects of this volume is the way in which Langfield provides a carefully considered investigation of her subject's musical development." Adams commented that "Langfield's unflinching narrative of Quilter's later life, after the initial success of his early songs and Where the Rainbow Ends, makes for painful reading. Langfield does not avoid the sordid and deeply disturbing facts of Quilter's gradual decline." Adams described Langfield's telling of Quilter's life as "sympathetic but judicious," adding that the biography "will certainly remain the definitive exploration of Quilter's life and music for a long time to come."



Albion, winter, 2004, Byron Adams, review of Roger Quilter: His Life and Music, p. 694.

Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, February 1, 2003, R. Miller, review of Roger Quilter, p. 993.

Music & Letters, November 1, 2003, Michael Hurd, review of Roger Quilter, p. 670.

Times Literary Supplement, June 20, 2003, Diana McVeagh, review of Roger Quilter, p. 22.


Academy of Digital Music Web site, (April 15, 2008), author profile.

Heaton Mersey Youth Festival Web site, (April 15, 2008), author profile.

About this article

Langfield, Valerie 1951-

Updated About content Print Article