Geoffrey Bush

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Geoffrey Bush (23 March 1920 – 24 February 1998) was a British composer, organist and scholar of 20th-century English music.

Geoffrey Bush was born in London, became a chorister at Salisbury Cathedral at the age of 8 and studied informally with the composer John Ireland. He moved on to Lancing College and completed his education at Balliol College, Oxford, as Nettleship Scholar and Masefield Memorial Student in Music, graduating BMus (1940) and DMus (1946); he also received a Master of Arts in classics in 1947.

During the Second World War he registered as a conscientious objector, serving as Assistant Warden at the Hostel of the Good Shepherd in Tredegar, Monmouthshire, from 1941 until 1945.

Bush taught music initially in the University of Oxford and in the University of London from 1952 for the rest of his career. He wrote extensively on English music, and also had a strong interest in editing and arranging, especially of neglected English composers. Of particular interest were the works and influence of William Sterndale Bennett.

His compositions include 5 operas, 2 symphonies, choral pieces such as his Christmas Cantata and many songs, generally in the lieder style. Music for Strings was composed for the Shropshire Music Service.

CD Recordings (5 of which are devoted entirely to his music) are on Lyrita, Chandos (3), Centaur and JMS.

Bush died in London from prostate cancer. The experimental filmmaker Paul Bush is his son.

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