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Cecil Armstrong Gibbs (10 August 1889 – 12 May 1960)

Cecil Armstrong Gibbs (10 August 1889 – 12 May 1960) was a prolific and versatile English composer, best known for his output of songs. Gibbs also devoted much of his career to the amateur choral and festival movements in Britain. He attained a high level of popularity, for instance the work 'Dusk' was requested by Princess Elizabeth (the future queen of England) on her eighteenth birthday. Gibbs was born in Great Baddow, a country village near Chelmsford in Essex, England on 10 August 1889. His maternal grandfather, a Unitarian minister who wrote a number of songs in spite of being musically untrained, was his closest musical relation. His father, David Cecil Gibbs, was the head of the well-known soap company D & W Gibbs, founded by C. A. Gibbs’s grandfather. Gibbs’s musical talent appeared early in life: an aunt discovered that he had perfect pitch at age three. He was also improvising melodies at the piano before he could speak fluently and he wrote his first song at the age of five. He continued his studies at Cambridge in music through 1913 studying composition with Edward Dent, Cyril Rootham and Charles Wood. WIKIPEDIA VIDEO: The atmospheric slow waltz 'Dusk' is probably the best-known orchestral piece by the English composer Cecil Armstrong Gibbs. This performance comes from a 'Light Music' concert given in 2011 by the BBCSO under the highly versatile conductor John Wilson.

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