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Herbert Griffiths

Herbert Griffiths was born 14 April 1899 in Southport (England). He studied music and organ under Benjamin Lofthouse and Herbert Frederick Ellingford at the Royal College of Music and the Oxford University and was later a renowned organist who received Associateship (ARCO) and Fellowship Diplomas (FRCO) from the Royal College of Organists. Herbert Griffths worked as musical director for the Stoll Theatre Company from 1923 to 1939. In this position he also performed organ compositions on the organ of the Stoll Picture Theatre. Many of these performances were recorded and released on records.


Herbert Griffths also composed and arranged music from his early years. He started with traditional forms but became more famous in later years for his work on light classical music and music for films. A well-known work is the operetta "A Kiss in Spring", which was originally composed by Emmerich Kálmán, but for a performance series at the Alhambra Theatre in 1932 Herbert Griffiths reworked the score together with Constant Lambert. Herbert Griffiths also composed the music and conducted the orchestra for an ice skating and cabaret show titled "St. Moritz – Ice Musical Spectacle" that took place at the London Coliseum in 1937 and he worked for films and created music for "Such Is the Law" (1930), "Black in the Face" (1954), "Five O'Clock Finish" (1954), "That's an Order" (1955), "Playground Express" (1955), "The Stripes of Sgt. Schweiger" (1956) and "The Baroness" (1956).


Herbert Griffiths died on 1 January 1969 in London (England).


In my possession is the autograph manuscript of the String quartet which dates from the student years of Herbert Griffiths at the Royal College of Music. The set of manuscripts contain a full score of a 4-movement string quartet from 1920. Additionally there is a full score and parts of what seems to be a revised version of the string quartet, now with just three movements.

The sound snippet below is the beginning of the second movement of the revised version of the String quartet.

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