Tippett, Sir Michael

Tippett, Sir Michael, 1905–98, English composer, b. London. Tippett studied at the Royal College of Music. During World War II he was briefly imprisoned as a conscientious objector. His strongly held socio-political views as well as his humanistic approach and mystical bent are often reflected in his work. His music is typically neoclassical in form, and blends the tonal, the modal, and the contemporary. Tippett utilized British folk, American jazz, and African elements in some of his works. He was knighted in 1966. His compositions include a concerto for double string orchestra (1939); the oratorio A Child of Our Time (1944); four symphonies (1945, 1958, 1973, 1977); five string quartets (1928, 1942, 1946, 1979, 1991); the symphonic The Rose Lake (1993); and the operas Midsummer Marriage (1955), King Priam (1962), The Knot Garden (1970), The Ice Break (1977), and New Year (1989).

See his autobiography, Those 20th Century Blues (1990), Tippett on Music (1995), and biography by M. Bowen; study by E. W. White (1979).

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