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Fact Page One

Born in Gloucestershire 1874, Gustav Holst is an English composer and musician - he was one of the leading musicians of the 20th century.

He has an unusual name because he was from a Swedish/Russian family. Holsts family were active music makers. His grandfather composed and taught music for the harp and his father was an organist and choirmaster.

Holst followed his familys footsteps and on to attend the prestigious Royal College Music in London on a scholarship.

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There he met another student, Ralph Vaughan Williams, who also went on to become one of the most famous English composers. Holst composed nearly 200 works, including operas, ballets, choral hymns and songs - his most famous work was the Planet Suite

Fact Page Two The most famous work by Gustav Holst is the Planets (aka the Planet Suite) which is a seven-movement orchestral suite. Holst loved astrology. Each movement of the suite is named after a planet in the Solar System - Earth was not included.

About how he composes music, he said: As a rule I only study things that suggest music to merecently the character of each planet suggested lots to me.

The 7 movements by Gustav Holst are: Mars, the Bringer of War Venus, the Bringer of Peace Mercury, the Winged Messenger Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age Uranus, the Magician Neptune, the Mystic

Fact Page Three Holst lived for short while in the Essex town of Thaxted (only 15 mins from Sible Hedingham!) and you can still see his house today. Originally being a hymn he had composed, he wrote Jupiter from The Planets in the Parish Church.

His friend from music college, Vaughan Williams, used the tune to create the well known hymn I Vow to Thee My Country.

This hymn has been used in royal weddings and funerals. It was sung at Winston Churchills funeral in 1956 and Princess Diana and Prince Charless wedding in 1981 (and her funeral!).

It is the

also the official anthem for Rugby World Cup.

Holst

died in 1934 in London.

Facts about Holst1) What is his first name? Holst 2) In which period of music did he compose music?............................................................................ 3) How was he viewed in the 20th century? . 4) Would you say Holst came from a musical family? Yes / No 5) Name two reasons why you think Holst attended the Royal College of Music: a)... b) . 6) Name one type of music he composed:. 7) What is the Planets also known as? 8) What inspired him to write music on the Planets?........................................................................ 9) Whats Holsts rule when composing music? . . 10) What is the difference between the Roman god Mars and the Roman god Venus? . 11) Look at the picture of a Roman sculpture of the Roman god Mars. Describe the look of the sculpture. Has it been sculptured to resemble anything? . 12) In which Essex town did Holst write Jupiter from The Planets?............................................ 13) His friend Vaughan Williams used the melody from Jupiter for the hymn: I ........ . 16) Why do you think this hymn is the official anthem for World Cup Rugby?