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Banks, Iain (1954–2013), author and composer, was born in Dunfermline, Fife, on 16 February 1954, the only surviving child (he had a sister who died at six weeks) of Thomas Menzies (Tom) Banks (1918–2009), an Admiralty officer at the Rosyth naval base, and his wife, ...

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Iain Banks (1954–2013) by Mark Gerson, 1985 © Mark Gerson / Bridgeman Art Library

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Bush, Alan Dudley (1900–1995), composer, was born in Dulwich, London, on 22 December 1900, the son of Alfred Walter Bush (1869–1935), director of W. J. Bush & Co., manufacturing chemists, and his wife, Alice Maud Brinsley (1870–1951). He was educated privately, then at ...

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Alan Dudley Bush (1900–1995) by Elliott & Fry, 1946 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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(Philip) Christian Darnton (1905–1981) by Howard Coster, 1940 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Darnton, (Philip) Christian (1905–1981), composer and writer, was born on 30 October 1905 in Leeds, the third son and third among the three children of John Edward Darnton, formerly von Schunck (1869–1940), landowner, and his wife, Mary Gertrude (1871–1952), daughter of Henry Illingworth...

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Delius, Frederick Theodor Albert (1862–1934), composer, was born on 29 January 1862 at Claremont, Horton Lane, Bradford, Yorkshire, the grandson of Ernst Friedrich Delius (1790–1831) and the fourth of the fourteen children of Julius Delius (1822–1901) and his wife, Elise Pauline Krönig (1838–1929)...

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Frederick Theodor Albert Delius (1862–1934) by Ernest Procter, 1929 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Holmes, Henry (1839–1905), violinist and composer, was born on 7 November 1839 at 1 Cross Street, Westminster, London, the second son of Thomas Holmes of Lincoln, a shoemaker, and his wife, Eliza, née Sutch. He went to school at the oratory, King William Street, Strand...

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Keal, Minna (1909–1999), composer, was born Minnie Nerenstein on 22 March 1909 at 81 Wentworth Street, Spitalfields, east London, into a Yiddish-speaking family from Grodno, Russian Poland, the eldest daughter of Jacob Nerenstein (d. 1926), a Jewish prayer-book publisher and seller, and his wife, ...

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Tippett, Sir Michael Kemp (1905–1998), composer, was born on 2 January 1905 in a London nursing home at 51 Belgrave Road, the second son and younger child of Henry William Tippett (1858–1944), a retired lawyer, and Isabel Clementina Binny Kemp (1880–1969), a novelist and suffragette. His father was of Cornish stock and his mother from ...

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Voynich [née Boole], Ethel Lilian [Lily] [E. L. V.] (1864–1960), novelist, translator, and musician, was born on 11 May 1864 at Lichfield Cottage, Blackrock, Ballintemple, near Cork, the youngest daughter of the mathematician and logician George Boole (1815–1864) and his wife, Mary Boole, ...

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Williams, Ralph Vaughan (1872–1958), composer and folk-song collector, was born on 12 October 1872 at the vicarage in Down Ampney, Gloucestershire, the youngest of the three children of the Revd Arthur Charles Vaughan Williams (1834–1875) and his wife, Margaret Wedgwood (1842–1937). There was distinction on both sides of the family. The ...