The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

Classical Music and the First World War

Classical Music and the First World War

Classical Music and the First World War


Marking the centenary of the armistice of the First World War, this slideshow considers the contributions of classical composers who responded to the conflict, some of whom served on the frontline. While popular music halls had boosted morale with patriotic and sentimental songs, and brought escapism during the war years, classical music also attempted to lift spirits and provided the public with an important means for remembrance and mourning, and private catharsis for those who survived.


Become a Member

Enjoy access to special events, discounts on the Gallery online shop, supporters’ updates and much more

Join today

Get social

Bringing people together by sharing the portraits and stories of the men and women who have shaped our nation.

Facebook Instagram Twitter


Sign up to receive information on exhibitions, collections and activities of the National Portrait Gallery, including special offers, shop products, and exclusive competitions.

Sign up