Michael Elliott 1926-2017

Michael Elliott was born in Essex in 1926 and came to Wales as a’ Bevin boy’ in January 1945, working underground at a coal mine at Maesteg. Six months after his wartime stint he won entry to the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he studied under the eminent British composer Lennox Berkeley. Later he arrived in Newport as a librarian, making his home there and finally becoming county librarian for Gwent.  Michael decided against music as a career but continued to compose well over 400 compositions throughout his life.  In a pointer to what might have been, Lennox Berkeley asked Michael to write some music that he himself didn’t have time for and submit the results to the composer’s publishers Chester. His three pieces for oboe and piano were published in 1954.

 

Much later in life came commissions from the international piano duo, the Cann Twins. In 2010 the Priory Singers and others gave the world premiere of his Newport Elegy, written to commemorate those who died in a Newport Docks disaster a century before.

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