Mention composers of classical music and people automatically think of such giants as Mozart and Beethoven and Brahms. Subconsciously, we assume that music comes from Germany and Central Europe, although the Italians seem to have enjoyed a bit of a sing-a-long! In fact, England has its own company of great composers from Tallis and Byrd, through Handel and Purcell to Elgar, Vaughan-Williams and Britten, and hundreds more.
Few would think of Northamptonshire as the cradle of outstanding music but we too have composers of note.
Ebenezer Prout (1835 – 1909) was a musical theorist, writer, teacher and composer. He is best remembered for his academic analyses, standard works which are still in use today and which taught generations of classical musicians. His many compositions include two Concerti for Organ, four Symphonies and a number of other works for organ, piano and strings.
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Edmund Rubbra (1901 - 1986) was born in Semilong, Northampton. He studied under Gustav Holst and became a lecturer and a Fellow of Worcester College, Oxford. His compositions include a dozen symphonic works, Concerti and many pieces of Chamber Music.
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Sir Malcolm Arnold, CBE (1921 - 2006) may be Northampton's most famous musician. His official website ( visit » ) tells us,
"Malcolm Arnold is one of the towering figures of the 20th century, with a remarkable catalogue of major concert works to his credit, including nine symphonies, seven ballets, two operas, one musical, over twenty concertos, two string quartets, and music for brass-band and wind-band. He also wrote 132 film scores, among these are some of the finest works ever composed for the medium including Bridge on the River Kwai (for which, in 1958, he was one of the first British composers ever to win an Oscar), Inn of the Sixth Happiness (for which he received an Ivor Novello Award in 1958), Hobson’s Choice and Whistle Down the Wind."
The website also has samples of his music check it now »