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Ernest John Moeran (Composer)

Born: 31st December 1894, London, England

Died: 1st December 1950, Kenmare, Ireland

Nationality: English

Ernest John Smeed Moeran was an English composer of part-Irish extraction, whose work was strongly influenced by English and Irish folk music of which he was an assiduous collector. His output includes orchestral pieces, concertos, chamber and keyboard works, and a number of choral and song cycles as well as individual songs.

The son of a clergyman, Moeran studied at the Royal College of Music under Charles Villiers Stanford before service in the army during the First World War, in which he was wounded. After the war he was a pupil of John Ireland, and quickly established a reputation as a composer of promise with a number of well-received works. From 1925 to 1928 he shared a cottage with the composer Peter Warlock; the bohemian lifestyle and heavy drinking during this period interrupted his creativity for a while, and sowed the seeds of the alcoholism that would blight his later life.

Further Reading: Moeran

Recording of the Week, Moeran Cello Concerto from Guy Johnston

Eloquent yet never saccharine, the British cellist is a wonderful ambassador for Moeran’s 1945 concerto, written for his wife-to-be Peers Coetmore and shot through with glimpses of Britten, Vaughan Williams and Walton.

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