Songs: Sir Charles Villiers Stanford
The Shedd Choral Society will perform six of Stanford’s choral compositions, drawn from various times of his composing career:
“What the Bee Is To the Flow’ret” and “Oh! Breathe Not His Name” from Six Irish Folksongs
“Shall We Go Dance?” from Six Elizabethan Pastorals
“Sailing At Dawn” from Songs of the Fleet
“My Love’s an Arbutus” and “Quick! We Have But A Second” (old Irish melodies)
Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (September 30, 1852 – March 29, 1924) was an Irish composer, music teacher, and conductor. Born to a well-off and highly musical family in Dublin, Stanford began composing as a child and rapidly ascended to the position of organist at Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1882, aged 29, he was one of the founding professors of the Royal College of Music, where he taught composition for the rest of his life.
Among Stanford’s students were rising composers whose fame went on to surpass his own, such as Gustav Holst and Ralph Vaughan Williams. As a conductor, Stanford held posts with the Bach Choir and the Leeds triennial music festival. He was knighted in 1901.
Stanford was a prolific composer and was especially known for his orchestral works, which include seven symphonies and five Irish Rhapsodies. His other works include numerous choral pieces, 10 operas, and many songs. His music reflects the late 19th-century Romantic style, into which he introduced elements of Irish folk song, contributing to his enduring appeal.