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Sir George Dyson

George Dyson was born in Halifax, Yorkshire, on 28 May 1883. He attended the Royal College of Music and was a winner of the Mendelssohn Scholarship in 1905, which enabled him to spend some years in Italy and Germany. In 1914, he joined the Royal Fusiliers, and during this time wrote a widely used training pamphlet on the use of grenades. After being invalided home with shell-shock in 1916 and recovering, he joined the Royal Air Force where he completed the RAF March Past drafted by Walford Davies. In 1921, he took up posts as music master at Wellington College and as professor of composition at the Royal College of Music. He worked as a school music teacher (at Rugby, Wellington and Winchester), before being appointed as Director of the Royal College of Music in 1937. Notably, he granted classical guitarist Julian Bream a full scholarship in his role as the Director, a pivotal moment in the young guitarist's path to greatness.

On 23 February 1935, primarily to support amateur music groups in the wake of the Great Depression, George Dyson founded the National Federation of Music Societies,[which rebranded in 2000 to become Making Music.

He received a knighthood in 1941 and was made a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) in 1953. He died in Winchester on 28 September 1964, aged 81.

His son is the physicist and mathematician Freeman Dyson and among his grandchildren are the science historian George Dyson and Esther Dyson.

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