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Robert Still (10 June, 1910–13 January, 1971) was an English composer, educator and amateur tennis player. Robert Still was born in London on 10 June 1910. He was a direct descendant of the Elizabethan Bishop of Bath and Wells John Still, once thought to be the author of the farce Gammer Gurton's Needle, and of Peter Still, solicitor to George III.
He was educated at Eton College and Trinity College, Oxford, where he gained the degrees of BA, MA, and BMus. He studied under C. H. Kitson, Basil Allchin and Gordon Jacob. Later in life he studied with Hans Keller. At Eton and Oxford he developed an interest in racquet games, winning a Blue and in later life playing real tennis for the Marylebone Cricket Club.
After Oxford, he returned to Eton to teach music, leaving there in 1938 to become conductor and arranger of the Ballet Trois Arts, a travelling company. By this time he had written a few songs and a light opera, Love and Learning, for the Windsor Operatic Society. He had been their conductor when he taught at Eton.
Still's War was spent first manning a searchlight in the Cotswolds and then with the Royal Artillery travelling orchestra, which he conducted. His musical talks to the troops led him to meet his future wife, whom he married in 1944.
After the war, the couple moved to Hampshire and in 1949 to Bucklebury in Berkshire. He now devoted his full time to composition, although he had contemplated becoming a Freudian lay psychoanalyst. However, he kept this interest and formed the London Imago Society in 1956, along with his friend, painter Adrian Stokes. Still's article on Gustav Mahler was published by The American Imago Society and he also wrote psychoanalytical articles on music and painting.
During this time his family had grown to four daughters and he had spent much of his time giving free advice and lessons to students. His friends included John Russell[disambiguation needed], Deryck Cooke, Anthony Scott, Adrian Stokes, harpsichordist and harpsichord expert Michael Thomas, Sir Eugene Goossens, and Myer Fredman.
Still's compositions include songs, four symphonies, a piano concerto, a violin concerto, instrumental & chamber works, orchestral works, motets and an opera. Some of his chamber works were recorded by Argo Records (UK). An archive is held at the Jerwood Library in Greenwich (London). He remained predominantly tonal, using dissonance to great effect.
Robert Still died suddenly of a heart attack on 13 January 1971. Just before his death he had been elected a member of the Executive Committee of the Composer's Guild.