26th February 1879
10th January 1941
Frank Bridge was an English composer and violist. He was born in Brighton and studied at the Royal College of Music in London from 1899 to 1903 under Charles Villiers Stanford. He played the viola in a number of string quartets, most notably the English String Quartet (along with Marjorie Hayward), and conducted, sometimes deputising for Henry Wood, before devoting himself to composition, receiving the patronage of Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge. Bridge had strong pacifist convictions, and he was deeply disturbed by World War I, after which his compositions were marked by a radical change in musical language. Bridge is mostly remembered for privately tutoring Benjamin Britten, who later paid homage to him in the Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge (1937), based on a theme from the second of Bridge'sThree Idylls for String Quartet (1906). Britten was Bridge's only composition pupil, and he spoke very highly of his teaching, stating in 1963 that he still felt he "hadn't come up to the technical standards" that Bridge had set him.