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Peter Warlock was the pseudonym of Philip Heseltine (1894–1930), a British composer and music critic. The Warlock name, which reflects Heseltine's interest in occult practices, was used for all his published musical works. Best known as a composer of songs and other vocal music, he also achieved notoriety through his unconventional and often scandalous lifestyle. As a schoolboy at Eton College, Heseltine came under the spell of the British composer Frederick Delius, with whom he formed a close friendship. After a failed student career in Oxford and London, he turned to musical journalism, while developing interests in folk-song and Elizabethan music. His first serious compositions date from around 1915. A lasting influence arose from his meeting in 1916 with the Dutch composer Bernard van Dieren. Heseltine composed songs in a distinctive, original style, and built a reputation as a combative and controversial music critic. He made a pioneering contribution to the scholarship of early music, published under his own name, and produced a full-length biography of Delius. He died in his London flat of coal gas poisoning in 1930, probably by his own hand. (Full article...)

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