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Frederick Delius

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Frederick Delius was a composer of classical music who was born on January 29, 1862 and died on June 10, 1934. Delius was born in Bradford, West Yorkshire, in northern England. His parents, Julius and Elise Pauline Delius, were of German origin, and moved from Bielefeld, Germany to Britain to settle and develop a woolen business. Frederick (or Fritz, as his relatives called him) was the fourth of fourteen children.

Despite being born in England, Frederick Delius traveled a lot, and spent little time in that country, spending most of his life in the United States, France, and other places in Europe. In Florida, Delius wrote many pieces, including his “Florida Suite”, before going to Danville, Virginia to teach music, and eventually moving to New York. Some years later Delius moved to the village of Grez-sur-Loing, France, where his health condition started to decrease when he caught syphilis, which caused him to lose his sight and an increasing paralysis which ultimately made him need to use a wheelchair.

The musical style of Frederick Delius is distinguished by its chromaticism, although still mostly tonal and with beautiful harmonies. Among his best known pieces are: “On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring”, “Brigg Fair”, “A Village Romeo and Juliet”, “A Mass of Life”, “Requiem”, and “Koanga”.

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