Foster, Myles Birket


English organist and composer, born in London, the eldest son of Birket Foster, the noted artist, and a cousin of Muriel Foster, the vocalist. His family, being Quaker, discouraged his interest in music, and placed him in the office of a stockbroker, but he left it in 1871 and studied for his favorite profession, first under Hamilton Clarke, and later in composition under Sullivan and Prout and the piano under Westlake. He held the position of organist of the Foundling Hospital from 1880 to 1892, and up to 1900 was musical editor to Messrs. Boosey, London. He was elected an associate of the Philharmonic Society in 1880, associate of the Royal Academy of Music in 1895, and later a fellow of the same institution. As traveling examiner for Trinity College he visited Australia and New Zealand in 1895. He was also organist at His Majesty's Theatre. He has written a number of musical works of merit, many of them being in manuscript. Among them are cantatas for children, including Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast; an evening service for male voices; a communion service; six two-part songs; a symphony in F sharp minor, entitled Isle of Arran; overtures; string quartets; and about forty anthems. He has contributed articles on musical subjects to several magazines and is the author of Anthems and Anthem Composers, issued in 1901.