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Sir Thomas Beecham, second baronet (1879–1961) by Stephen Glass © reserved; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Beecham, Sir Thomas, second baronet (1879–1961), conductor, was born on 29 April 1879 in Westfield Street, St Helens, Lancashire, the elder son and second child of Sir Joseph Beecham, first baronet (1848–1916), manufacturing chemist, and his wife, Josephine Burnett, née Dickins (1850–1934). The family's prosperity began with ...

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(Louis) Hector Berlioz (1803–1869) by Pierre Petit, 1863 Getty Images

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Berlioz, (Louis) Hector (1803–1869), composer and conductor, was born on 11 December 1803 in La Côte St André, in the département of Isère, France, the first of four children of Dr Louis-Joseph Berlioz and his wife, Marie-Antoinette-Joséphine, commonly known as Joséphine, the daughter of ...

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Davies, Sir Peter Maxwell (Max) (1934–2016), composer and conductor, was born on 8 September 1934 at Holly Street, Salford, the adopted only child of Thomas Davies (1901–1984), foreman at a high-precision instrument factory, and his wife, Hilda Davies (...

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Sir Peter Maxwell Davies (1934–2016), by Neil Drabble, 1990

© Neil Drabble

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Sir Henry Joseph Wood (1869–1944) by Meredith Frampton, 1930 reproduced by courtesy of the Savage Club, photograph © Gerald Place

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Wood, Sir Henry Joseph (1869–1944), conductor, was born in London on 3 March 1869. His father, identically named, was an optician and engineering model-maker residing and trading at 413A Oxford Street, London, and his mother, Martha, née Morris, was Welsh; he was their only child. Both parents were musical, ...