DAVIES Waldford H.


At various times in his 45-year career, Sir Henry Walford Davies enjoyed wide recognition as a composer, teacher, organist, and lecturer and in the latter capacity, he became England's first popular radio personality on the subject of classical music. Henry Walford Davies  was born 50 years before the advent of radio as a popular broadcast medium, in 1869, and began his formal musical education in his teens in the choir of St. George's Chapel at Windsor. His natural aptitude for music manifested itself in this setting and Davies spent five years as a pupil/assistant to the cathedral organist Walter Parratt. Davies composed music throughout his career, though virtually nothing of his work from the nineteenth century is known. He began emerging in 1904 with the oratorio Everyman, which in the years following its premiere was the second-most popular large-scale choral work in England, after Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius. Apart from his RAF March Past, which remains in the repertory of military and other institutional marching bands (especially in England), Davies' best-remembered works include the Solemn Melody (1908).