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Gustav Holst
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Gustav Holst

Gustavus Theodore von Holst (September 21, 1874 - May 25, 1934) was an English composer with Latvian (and some Spanish) roots.

Born in Cheltenham, he went on to study at the Royal College of Music in London. His best-known work is probably his orchestral suite The Planets, completed in 1916. Holst's relatively small output for the wind band has nonetheless guaranteed him a position as the medium's cornerstone, seen in innumerable present-day programmes featuring his two Suites for Military Band. His one work for brass band, A Moorside Suite, remains an important part of the brass band repertoire.

Like many composers, Holst also played a musical instrument, in his case the trombone (a choice dictated by a medical condition that robbed him of the manual dexterity required for more obvious instruments such as the piano).

From 1933 Holst suffered from severe stomach problems. On May 25 1934 he died of complications, following surgery in London.

His daughter Imogen Holst was also a composer and conductor.

Other works

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