Elisabeth Lutyens

(Agnes) Elisabeth Lutyens was born in London in 1906. At age nine she began to aspire to be a composer. In 1922, Lutyens pursued her musical education at the École Normal de Musique de Paris, before accompanying her mother to India in 1923. On her return she studied with John Foulds and subsequently continued her musical education from 1926 to 1930 at the Royal College of Music in London as a pupil of Harold Darke.

Lutyens is credited with bringing Schoenbergian serial technique (albeit her own very personal interpretation of it) to Britain. She disapproved of the 'overblown sound' and chose to work with sparse textures and develop her own type of serialism; she first used a 12-note series in Chamber Concerto I for 9 instruments (1939), but earlier than this she had been using the techniques of inversion and retrograde fundamental to a serial idiom, and she stated she had been inspired to this by precedents she found in older British music, especially Henry Purcell.


Works for wind ensemble

  • Music for winds (1964)

  • Symphonies for solo piano, wind, harps and percussion (1961)