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.
This magnificent centenary volume...(miraculously edited to her own high standards)...documents a lifetime's pioneering achievement...A compelling portrait emerges of a single minded and uniquely talented woman. GRAMOPHONE [Geraint Lewis]
An encounter with a true original...Grogan has put together an excellent critical biography. TLS
This book - available at a remarkably reasonable price given the quality of its production...is a wonderful centenary tribute to a fascinating and often underappreciated figure. BRITISH MUSIC SOCIETY NEWS
Excellently written...a successful, lively portrait of an important personality in C20th British musical life. DIE MUSIKFORSCHUNG
First Published: 21 Oct 2010
13 Digit ISBN: 9781843835998
Imprint: Boydell Press
Series: Aldeburgh Studies in Music
BIC Class: AV
Details updated on 17 Apr 2015