Alfred Hollins (11 September 1865 – 17 May 1942) was an English organist, composer and teacher, who was noted as a recitalist in Scotland.
Hollins was born in Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England, and was blind from birth. His mother died while he was young, and little is known about his father. After his mother's death, Hollins was sent to live with his "Aunt Mary", who gave him his first piano lesson.
In 1878, Hollins enrolled at the Royal Normal College for the Blind at Upper Norwood. He impressed the Principal of his potential as a musician such that he was given the opportunity to study with Frits Hartvigson on the piano and Dr E.J. Hopkins on the organ. Hollins then presented several successful concerts, and the opportunity arose for Hollins to study in Berlin under Hans von Bülow.
In the ensuing eleven years, Hollins was organist at Upper Norwood Presbyterian Church, at the People's Palace (Crystal Palace) and teaching piano and organ at the Royal Normal College for the Blind. During this period Hollins also made a tour of the United States, and visited major concert halls at the time. For many years, until the end of his life, he was organist at the Free St. George's Church in Edinburgh.
In 1922, Hollins was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Edinburgh University. This was in addition to being made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Organists in 1904.
In 1925/26 Hollins gave a major tour of the United States, during which he visited sixty-five cities. It has been estimated that Hollins traveled some 600,000 miles on his concert tours.
In later years, Hollins wrote "A Blind Musician Looks Back," his memories as an organist and teacher.
"Melody" dates from 1934, and is a lovely example of his melodic and harmonic mastery. It features the Swell Oboe in a never ending, quiet rhapsody, soaring above a murmuring left hand part.
The score is attached as well as photos of Hollins.
Maybe I'll do one one of his BIG pieces... ;-)