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Michael Kemp Tippett

Michael Kemp Tippett (1905-98)

Composer

Tippett was regarded by many as an outsider in British music, a view that may have been related to his early conscientious objection and his homosexuality. His pacifist beliefs led to a prison sentence in World War II, and for many years his music was considered ungratefully written for voices and instruments, and therefore difficult to perform. An intense intellectual, he maintained a much wider knowledge and interest in the literature and philosophy of other countries (Africa, Europe) than was common among British musicians. His (sometimes quirky) libretti for his operas and other works reflect his passionate interest in the dilemmas of human society and the enduring strength of the human spirit.

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Poetry in Music
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Shakespeare Songs
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