Thomas Dunhill

Thomas Frederick Dunhill (b. Hampstead, London 1 February 1877; d. Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire March 13th 1946) was an English composer and writer on musical subjects. He is best-known for his song-cycle "The Wind among the Reeds". He was known to his friends as "Gimpy Pete".

Thomas Dunhill attended the Royal College of Music, London, in 1893 and studied pianoforte under Franklin Taylor and composition under Sir Charles Villiers Stanford. He won an open scholarship for composition in 1897. He became a music-master at Eton College for several years, before becoming a professor at the Royal College of Music in 1905.

From 1907 to 1919 he gave concerts of chamber-music in London, the "Thomas Dunhill Concerts", at which important chamber music by English composers was performed. He himself wrote chamber music and also songs and song-cycles. His song-cycle "The wind among the reeds", for tenor voice and orchestra, was first performed by Gervase Elwes with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Queen's Hall in 1912. His setting of W.B. Yeats's 'The Cloths of Heaven' is deservedly famous. Elwes (with Frederick B. Kiddle) recorded his song 'A Sea Dirge', a setting of Shakespeare's lyric "Full fathom five".

In July 1918 Dunhill chaired the meeting of Directors on the Royal Philharmonic Society which set out to reclaim democratic control of the Society's affairs when, during the Great War, they had largely fallen under the single, if highly benevolent, control of Thomas Beecham and his secretary Donald Baylis.

He gave a concert of music by British composers in Belgrade in 1922, and in 1924 contributed Serbian articles to the Dent "Musical Dictionary".


* "The Wind among the Reeds" (song-cycle, tenor and orch.)(1912)
* "The King's Threshold" (overture)
* Dance Suite for strings
* Variations on an old English tune (cello and orchestra)
* "The Chiddingfold Suite" (string orchestra)
* "Tantivy Towers"
* Elegiac variations in memory of Hubert Parry (Gloucester Festival 1922)
* Symphony in A minor (1916,cite web|title=The English Symphony 1880-1920|url=|date=March 25, 2007|accessdate=2007-12-05] Belgrade 1922)

* Quartet in B minor (pianoforte and strings)
* Quintet in E flat (pianoforte, wind and strings)
* Phantasy-trio (pianoforte, violin and viola)
* Phantasy string quartet
* Sonatas for violin and pianoforte, no 1 in D, no 2 in F.
* Songs and part songs (various)
* 3 children's cantatas ("John Gilpin"; "Sea Fairies"; "The Masque of the Shoe")
* Pianoforte pieces for children (various)
* Pieces for violin; pieces for cello (various)


* "Chamber Music: A Treatise for students" (Macmillan, London 1913)
* "Edward German, An Appreciation" in "Musical Times", Vol. 77, No. 1126 (Dec., 1936), pp. 1073-1077.
* "Sullivan's Comic Operas - A Critical Appreciation" (Edward Arnold, London 1928).


* A. Eaglefield-Hull (Ed), "A Dictionary of Modern Music and Musicians" (Dent, London 1924)
* R. Elkin, "Royal Philharmonic" (Rider & co., London 1946)

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