Sir Arthur Bliss(1891-1975), Composer
Sir Arthur Edward Drummond Bliss
Sitter in 41 portraits
A composer of orchestral and chamber works, Bliss drew inspiration from painting and sculpture. After serving with distinction in the 13th Royal Fusiliers (1914-17) and the Grenadier Guards (1917-19) and surviving with few injuries, his traumatic experiences are revealed in his diaries, letters and autobiography, As I Remember (1970). After the war, Bliss reacted against his German-influenced teaching and experimented with innovative compositions, coming to prominence with Colour Symphony (1921-2). In 1930, Bliss wrote Morning Heroes, a symphony in memory of his brother and friends killed in battle in the war, and identified it as a means for exorcising a recurring war-related nightmare and it is said to address his generation’s drive to fight in the war. Other important work includes the ballet Checkmate (1937) and the score for the film Things to Come (1935), considered one of the finest works in that medium. During World War Two he was the BBC's Director of Music and became Master of the Queen's Music from 1953.