Celebrating 150 years of Holst’s legacy

Today, as we celebrate 100 years of Morley at 61 Westminster Bridge Road, we’re also continuing to commemorate former Director of Music Gustav Holst and the anniversary of his birth. 

Holst’s association with Morley runs deep. It was here, at our Waterloo campus, where the Morley College Choir was founded under his direction during his tenure as Director of Music from 1907 to 1924. This choir remains an integral part of Morley’s musical tradition, a testament to Holst’s enduring influence. 

Throughout 2024, we’re continuing to honour Holst’s remarkable contributions by hosting a series of events, performances, and educational initiatives dedicated to commemorating the composer’s enduring legacy. 

Missed the Harmony of the Heavens event? 

Morley recently hosted ‘Harmony of the Heavens: A Holstian Showcase of Orchestral and Choral Brilliance’ where the Morley Chamber Orchestra together with the Morley Chamber Choir and the Meridian Choir joined forces to bring to life Holst’s timeless compositions. 

Performances ranged from the Arabic influences of “Beni Mora” to the intricate beauty of his choral works – including the ‘Short Festival Te Deum’ dedicated to Morley College. 

This was broadcasted on Morley Radio today and will be available to stream here next week.

Upcoming events celebrating Holst 

“The Planets” by Gustav Holst for 4 Pianos, 8 Pianists on 7 June 

The iconic composition “The Planets” by Gustav Holst will be presented in a ‘new’ and captivating arrangement by the New Zealander composer and former Morley tutor Paul Sarcich for 4 pianos and 8 pianists. 

Each planet will be characterised by its own musical style and thematic representation of astrological characteristics associated with the respective planet 

 The collaboration of the 8 pianists, who are also Morley tutors, will create a kaleidoscope of sounds and colours that is both new and enchanting. 

Don’t miss this unique opportunity and reserve your spot here! 

Penny Lecture: Holst at 150: re-assessing his achievement 

Gustav Holst’s best friend and fellow composer Ralph Vaughan Williams described him as “a great composer, a great teacher, and a great friend”. This shone through Holst’s time as Director of Music at Morley from 1907-1924. 

This talk will reassess Holst’s achievement throughout his career, and his lasting legacy. Philippa Tudor is the author of “Mrs Gustav Holst” and the co-curator of a forthcoming exhibition at Holst Victorian House Cheltenham. 

Reserve your spot here