Today’s Birthday: Gustav Holst – Saturn from “The Planets Suite” London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Richard Hickox

Gustav Holst was born on 21 September 1874 in Cheltenham, England, the first of two children to Adolph and Clara von Holst.

Adolph was an accomplished pianist who taught piano and practiced many hours during the day, much to the neglect of his wife, Clara, and their two children. Adolph’s family was of Swedish origin. One of his ancestors served as a court composer in Russia until he fell out of favor and exiled to Germany. Soon afterwards, the family emigrated to England. Holst’s mother, Clara, was a piano student of Adolph when first they met. Clara’s great – great grandmother was from Spain, where she had been an actress. She was soon married to an Irishman and moved to Ireland. Clara was sweet, gentle and unassuming but she was not very strong. She died soon after the birth of her second child, when Gustav was only eight.  (Continue reading at: http://www.gustavholst.info/biography/index.php?chapter=1)

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