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Ellis, Vivian John Herman (1903–1996), composer and lyricist, was born on 29 October 1903 at 207 Goldhurst Terrace, Hampstead, London, the only son of Henry Herman Ellis (c.1868–1909), tailor, and his wife, Maud Alexandrina Isaacson (1870–1961). He inherited musical talent from his mother, a violin pupil of ...

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Gay, Noel [real name Reginald Moxon Armitage] (1898–1954), composer and lyricist, was born on 15 July 1898 at Park Terrace, Leeds Road, Outwood, Wakefield, the son of Harry Armitage, a colliery clerk, and his wife, Charlotte Elizabeth Moxon. Musically precocious, he won a scholarship to ...

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Noel Gay (1898–1954) by Howard Coster, 1932 ? National Portrait Gallery, London

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Graham, Colin (1931–2007), opera director and librettist, was born on 22 September 1931 at 17 Fourth Avenue, Hove, Sussex, the son of Frederick Eaton Graham-Bonnalie (1897–1979), physician and medical author, and his first wife, Alexandra Diana Vivian (Anore), née Finlay (1909–1988). His parents divorced while he was still young and both subsequently remarried. Educated at ...

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Grey, Clifford [real name Percival Davis] (1887–1941), lyricist, was born on 5 January 1887 at 106 St Luke's Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, the only child of George Davis, a whip manufacturer, and his wife, Emma Lowe. In 1899 Davis entered the Camp Hill Boys' School...

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Haym, Nicola Francesco (1678–1729), composer and librettist, born on 26 June 1678 at Rome, was conjecturally the eldest of three children of a German, Sebastiano Haym (d. before 1700), and his wife, Elena. Nicola was a professional violoncellist in 1694, a member of the ...

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Charles Jennens (1700/0101–1773) by Thomas Hudson, 1747 private collection

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Jennens, Charles (1700/01–1773), patron of the arts and librettist, was born probably at Gopsall Hall, Leicestershire, the son of Charles Jennens (bap. 1662, d. 1747), gentleman and JP, son of the Birmingham ironmaster Humphrey Jennens, and his second wife, Elizabeth Burdett (1667–1707/8)...

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Porter, Andrew Brian (1928–2015), music critic and librettist, was born on 26 August 1928 in Cape Town, South Africa, one of the two children, along with his twin sister, Sheila May, of Andrew Ferdinand Porter (1902–1963), dentist, and his first wife, ...

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Ropes, Arthur Reed [pseud. Adrian Ross] (1859–1933), lyricist and journalist, was born at Lewisham, London, on 23 December 1859, the youngest son of William Hooper Ropes, a Russia merchant, and his wife, Ellen Harriet, daughter of J. Drinkrow Hall, of Scarborough. Although ...

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Rubens, Paul Alfred (1875–1917), musical comedy writer and songwriter, was born at 11 Dawson Place, Kensington, London, on 29 April 1875, the eldest son of Victor Rubens, a wealthy Berlin-born Jewish stockbroker, and his wife, Jenny, née Wallach. He was educated at ...