Welcome to WarComposers.co.uk, a site dedicated to retelling the stories of the generation of classical composers who fought in World War I.

We quite rightly hear a lot about the ‘war poets’ of World War I, but less well known are the war composers. Almost a whole generation of young composers volunteered to fight in the Great War, many whom did not survive or were permanently affected by that conflict.

Dedication of Ernest Farrar's Heroic Elegy of 1918

The site launched in August 2013 and aims to present a unified resource of biographies and related materials about the composers who fought in World War 1.

What's new?

War Composers released its first podcast this year. George Butterworth: The Tune Hunter is about the composer's Morris dance hunting expedition in Oxfordshire in April 1912 and how his much-loved compositions like The Banks of Green Willow were influenced by folk music he collected.

The newest biography is about the German composer Paul Hindemith and his experiences during the War. Other biographies posted on the site in 2016 include:

The French composer André Caplet is often considered to be Claude Debussy's protégé. He wrote music throughout his service in WW1, despite being gassed, an injury which would end his life in 1925.
Jean Cras was a highly decorated French naval officer for whom composition was a very successful sideline.
Fritz Kreisler was perhaps the most famous violinist of his day, despite almost being killed while fighting for Austria during the very earliest battles of World War I, after which he wrote a vivid memoir of his brief time on the Eastern Front.

Remembering the Battle of the Somme

With the centenary of the Battle of the Somme being commemorated in 2016, this site remembers the large number of talented young composers lost in that battle including George Butterworth, Frederick Septimus Kelly, Willie Manson, Francis Purcell Warren and George Jerrard Wilkinson and will aim to mention where you will be able to hear works by these composers on the concerts page.

The War Composers blog has also been updated, with notes on a few WWI composers about whom details are obscure, such as Herbert Matheson.