Born: 15th August 1875
Died: 1st September 1912
Birth Place: United Kingdom
Known for: Being a composer and conductor.
Coleridge-Taylor was a well respected musician and composer.
His most famous composition was Hiawatha's Wedding Feast.
He was called "the African Mahler", after another very successful composer.
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor was brought up in Croydon, Surrey. His grandfather started teaching him the violin when he was young, and his talent soon became obvious. Coleridge-Taylor studied at the Royal College of Music, where he changed from violin to composition, working under notable professor, Charles Villiers Stanford.
After completing his degree, he became a professional musician and was soon appointed a professor at the Crystal Palace School of Music. He began conducting the orchestra at the Croydon Conservatoire. By 1896, he was already earning a reputation as a great composer. He was later recommended to the ‘Three Choirs Festival’ where his Ballade in A minor was premiered.
In 1899, Coleridge-Taylor married Jessie Walmisley, who was also a student at the Royal College of Music. Her parents were against the marriage because Coleridge-Taylor was mixed race, but eventually accepted it and attended the wedding. The couple had a son, named Hiawatha, after a Native American immortalised in poetry, and a daughter called Gwendolyn Avril.
In 1904, on his first tour to the United States, Samuel was received by President Theodore Roosevelt at the White House, a rare event in those days for a man of African descent. His music was widely performed, and he had great support among African Americans.
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