Imogen Holst: A Life in Music

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Christopher Grogan
Boydell Press, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 498 pages
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Imogen Holst was one of the most wide-ranging and highly regarded of musicians. Popular with all who knew her, she was intensively protective of her inner life, reminding one friend of a 'locked door of which she had thrown away the key'. Imogen Holst: A Life in Music uses a wealth of newly discovered material to explore the complexities and contradictions of her life and career, drawing on her own writings - ranging from heartfelt early poetry, through correspondence, to a series of journals that maintain a colourful record of her travels and achievements. Most revealing of these is the daily journal that she kept at the start of her working association with Britten, a document that provides a unique insight both into her own thoughts, and into the professional and domestic life of a major composer. Extensively revised with new material, the book also includes a study of Imogen Holst's music and a chronological list of her works, revealing her as a composer of tremendous talent, whose music deserves to be much more familiar. CHRISTOPHER GROGAN is Director of Collections and Heritage at the Britten-Pears Foundation.

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