Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (15 August 1875 – 1 September 1912) was an English composer and conductor who was mixed-race, part Sierra Leone Creole. He achieved such success that he was referred to by white New York musicians as the "African Mahler" at the time when he toured the United States. He was born in 1875 in Holborn, London, to Alice Hare Martin (1856–1953), an English woman, and Dr. Daniel Peter Hughes Taylor, a Creole from Sierra Leone, of mixed European and African descent. His mother named her son Samuel Coleridge Taylor after the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
By 1896, Coleridge-Taylor was already earning a reputation as a composer. He was later helped by Edward Elgar, who recommended him to the Three Choirs Festival. His "Ballade in A minor" was premiered there. His early work was also guided by the influential music editor and critic August Jaeger of music publisher Novello; he told Elgar that Taylor was "a genius". Stanford also was as champion of his music.
Coleridge-Taylor was 37 when he died of pneumonia, but his death is often attributed to the stress of his financial situation.
"Three Impromptus, Op. 78" were published by Weekes & Co. in 1911. They are late works, and show the composer in all his full maturity.
These are significant and superb pieces. I'm amazed that these works have disappeared from the standard English repertoire. Any major performer, who has access to these scores, should learn and perform these. They show the composer's "Germanic style," but with a sweep and passion that I found quite remarkable.
I received these works from Dr. John Henderson and am pleased to share them. I hope you will download them and make use of them. As always, the scores are attached below.
Performance/musical notes are given in the First Comment.
Also attached are several photos of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, included a portrait with his autograph, as well as mourners laying a wreath upon his grave.