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Cyril Scott

Cyril Meir Scott (27 September 1879 – 31 December 1970) was an English composer, writer, and poet.

Scott was born in Oxton, Cheshire to a shipper and scholar of Greek and Hebrew, and Mary Scott (née Griffiths), an amateur pianist. He showed a talent for music from an early age and was sent to the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt, Germany to study piano in 1892 at age 12. He studied with Iwan Knorr and belonged to the Frankfurt Group, a circle of composers who studied at the Hoch Conservatory in the late 1890s. His first symphony was performed (through the good offices of his friend Stefan George, the great German poet) when he was only twenty years old.

In 1902 he met the pianist Evelyn Suart, with whom he had a long artistic association. She championed his music, premiering many of his works, and introducing him to his publisher, Elkin, with whom he remained for the rest of his life. Evelyn Suart was also a Christian Scientist, and it was through her that Scott became interested in metaphysics. Scott dedicated his Scherzo, Op. 25 to Evelyn Suart. (Her daughter Diana Gould was a noted ballerina and the second wife of Yehudi Menuhin.)

Those who heard Scott play the piano commented on the extraordinary vitality of his playing, above all his always well judged rubato, and subtleties of tone and pedalling. 

Scott married Rose Laure Allatini in May 1921. They had two children: Vivien Mary Scott (born 1923) and Desmond Cyril Scott (born 1926). He separated from Rose following World War II. In 1943, he met Marjorie Hartston, a clairvoyante, who remained his companion until his death, and persuaded him to go on composing, despite the indifference of the musical world to his work. Undeterred, he continued to compose up until the last three weeks of his life, dying at the age of 91. By the time of his death he was remembered for only a few popular pieces (such as Lotus Land) that he had composed over sixty years before. His many books and pamphlets on occultism and alternative medicine always, however, found readers.



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