Composer: Gustav Theodore Holst
Gustav Theodore Holst (1874 – 1934) was an English composer and a music teacher. He was born in Cheltenham. Gloucestershire, England and educated at at Cheltenham Grammar School for Boys. He attended the Royal College of Music in London on a scholarship, studying with Charles Villiers Stanford. His early work was influenced by Ravel, Grieg, Richard Strauss and Ralph Vaughan Williams who he met there in 1895 and they became lifelong friends. William's praise for Holst's work was abundant and he later shared an interest with Holst in the teaching of English vocal and choral traditions (folk song, madrigals, and church music). He is most famous for his orchestral suite The Planets. Most of his music is highly original, with influences from Hindu spiritualism and English folk tunes. Holst's music is well known for unconventional use of metre and haunting melodies.
Holst wrote almost 200 catalogued compositions, including orchestral suites, operas, ballets, concertos, choral hymns, and songs.
Holst became music master at St Paul's Girls' School in 1905 and director of music at Morley College in 1907, continuing in both posts until retirement.
He was the brother of Hollywood actor Ernest Cossart and father of the composer and conductor Imogen Holst, who wrote a biography of her father in 1938.