Imogen Holst

British composer and conductor Imogen Holst was born on 12 April 1907, the only child of composer Gustav Holst. She worked with Herbert Howells and studied composition at the Royal College of Music in London with George Dyson and Gordon Jacob. Her teachers also included Ralph Vaughan Williams (for harmony and counterpoint).

During World War II, when her career as a freelance musician was necessarily interrupted, Henry Walford Davies asked her to inspire and organise music in rural areas.

When, in 1952, Benjamin Britten invited her to Aldeburgh to help with work on his opera Gloriana, she became close friends with Britten and his partner Peter Pears, and settled in Aldeburgh. She worked as assistant to Britten and for the Aldeburgh Festival.

From 1964, with the help of composer Colin Matthews, Imo Holst concentrated on editing and recording her father's music.

By the time of her death on 9 March 1984, she had been much honoured and awarded for her services to music.


A selection of articles about Imogen Holst

Classical music news. Obituary - April Cantelo (1928-2024)

CD Spotlight. Sterling Work - Choral music by Imogen Holst, heard by Robert Anderson. '... a notable and much overdue act of piety.'

Record Box. Stirring Performances - String chamber music by Imogen Holst, recommended by Gerald Fenech