Richard Henry Walthew

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Richard Henry Walthew, also known as Richard H. Walthew (4 November 1872 – 14 November 1951) was an English composer and pianist.

Richard Henry Walthew was born in Islington in Middlesex, the only son of Richard Frederick Walthew and his wife, Emily the daughter of Charles Jeffreys Esq. He was a pupil of Hubert Parry for four years at the Royal College of Music (1890–1894). He taught the opera class at the Guildhall School of Music and from 1907 was Professor of Music at The Queen's College, Oxford.[1]

Walthew had a natural affinity for chamber music and a long association with the South Place Sunday Concert series for which he wrote programme notes. He conducted the orchestra there and it was also where much of his chamber music was played. He also gave a series of lectures on the history and development of chamber music there; these lectures were published by Boosey and Co. in 1909. He played at many of these concerts as did his son, the clarinettist Richard Sidney Walthew. In the article on Walthew in Cobbett's Cyclopaedic Survey of Chamber Music (1929), Thomas Dunhill recorded his admiration for the refined, lyrical and unostentatious style of Walthew's writing, the suitability of his compositions for amateur performance, his special aptitude for writing for the piano and his energetic devotion to chamber music.

His most successful work was the Phantasy-Quintet for piano, violin, viola, cello and double bass. It was commissioned by the Worshipful Company of Musicians, dedicated to Walter Cobbett and published by Stainer and Bell in 1912. It was performed by the composer at the momentous marathon thousandth South Place Sunday Concert in February 1927.

Walthew died, aged 79, in East Preston, West Sussex.

Selected works[edit]

  • The Enchanted Island, Operetta in 1 act (1900); libretto by R.H.U. Bloor
  • The Gardeners, Operetta (1906)
  • Aladdin, Overture and Entr'actes
  • Friend Fritz, Overture
  • Night Scenes
  • Table-Music, Suite in 4 movements for string orchestra
  • Variations in B
  • Caprice Impromptu for violin and orchestra
  • Concerto for clarinet and orchestra
  • Concerto for piano and orchestra (1894)
Chamber music
  • Five Diversions for violin, viola and cello
  • 5 Lyrical Pieces for string quartet
  • Miniature Quartet for flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoon
  • A Mosaic in Ten Pieces (with Dedication) for clarinet (or viola) and piano (1900)
  • Phantasy-Quintet in E minor and major for violin, viola, cello, double bass and piano (1912)
  • Piano Trio in G major
  • Prelude and Fugue for violin, viola and cello
  • Quartet for violin, viola, cello and piano
  • Quintet for clarinet and string quartet
  • Quintet for violin, viola, cello, double bass and piano
  • Quintet for 2 violins, viola, cello and piano
  • 2 Pieces: Regret and Conversation Galante for clarinet (or viola, or cello) and piano (1918)
  • Serenade-Sonata in F minor for viola or violin and piano (1925)
  • Sonata in D for viola and piano (1938)
  • Sonata for cello and piano
  • Sonata for violin and piano
  • String Quartet No. 1
  • String Quartet No. 2
  • String Quartet No. 3
  • String Trio No. 1
  • String Trio No. 2
  • Suite in F for clarinet (or viola) and piano (1899)
  • Trio for 2 clarinets and bassoon (or bass clarinet)
  • Trio for clarinet (or violin), horn (or bassoon) and piano
  • Trio in C minor for violin, clarinet (or viola) and piano (1897)
  • Triolet in E for oboe, clarinet and bassoon
  • Aubade (1907)
  • Ode to a Nightingale, Cantata
  • The Pied Piper of Hamlin, Cantata for soloists, chorus and orchestra
  • The Development of Chamber Music, London: Boosey & Co. (1909)



  1. ^ "Walthew, Richard Henry" (2001). The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, 29 vols., edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell.