Percy Sherwood was born on 23 May 1866 in Dresden (Germany) to an English father and a German mother. He attended school in Dresden and later studied music at the Dresden University under Felix Draeseke (composition) and Bertrand Roth (piano). After his studies he worked as a performer and conductor as well as a teacher at the Dresden University. In 1893 he was appointed professor at the Dresden University, in 1911 even „Königlicher Professor“. One notable student of Percy Sherwood from that time in Dresden is Dora Pejacevic.
Percy Sherwood also composed music since his student years with immediate success: He was awarded the famous Mendelssohn Prize in 1889 for his Requiem and his works in general were widely performed in Germany during the first decade of the 20th century.
In 1914, when war was declared between Germany and England, Percy Sherwood stayed in England coincidentally and decided to remain there (he was of English nationality). In Dresden Percy Sherwood was an important and renowned figure in the musical life, but in England he was virtually nameless. Therefore it is little known about the activities from that part of his life. He surely made a living as a private music teacher and he continued to compose music. Despite his worse personal situation in England Percy Sherwood decided to stayed in England after World War I. Percy Sherwood died in London on 15 May 1939.
The Violin concerto was composed in in July and August 1902 in Walzenhausen (Appenzell, Switzerland). The work exists only in the piano reduction, no full orchestral score has survived (or has ever existed?). Several sources mention that the concerto was dedicated to the famous English violinist Marie Hall, but the original manuscript gives no such inscription.