Ellicott, Rosalind Frances


English composer, who was born at Cambridge and lived principally at Gloucester, where her father, Charles John Ellicott, was Bishop from 1863 to 1905. From her mother, an accomplished musician and vocalist, she inherited her musical talent, beginning to compose at the age of six. Among her early works were settings of Heine's poems, and other German songs, which she composed at seventeen, the year she entered the Royal Academy of Music. She remained at the Academy for two years, and afterwards studied under Thomas Wingham for about seven years. She was several times invited to compose works for the Gloucester Triennial Musical Festivals, and her first marked success, To the Immortals, was sung at one of these festivals, in 1883. Her dramatic overture, produced in 1886, is spoken of as " vigorous, spontaneous, and a great deal fresher and more purposeful than most of the cantatas of her time . . . the themes are striking and well developed and the handling of the orchestra remarkably bold and effective." This was a triumph for Miss Ellicott, who had hitherto been considered an amateur, but was now ranked with professional composers. It is said of her industry and enthusiasm, that with a delicate physique and in circumstances where there was no pressing necessity for work, she studied and worked as if the opposite had been true. Three other overtures and a fantasia for orchestra were all given at different English festivals. Other compositions include the successful contatas, The Birth of Song, Elysium, and Henry of Navarre; and part-songs, chamber-music, and sonatas for piano and strings, which have been often performed in London. She has appeared in concerts frequently, both as pianist and vocalist. In 1901 she organized a series of successful chamber-concerts in Gloucester and Cheltenham, which continued till 1905.