18 Facts About Priaulx Rainier


Ivy Priaulx Rainier was a South African-British composer.

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Priaulx Rainier never adopted 12-tone or serial techniques, but her music shows a profound understanding of that musical language.

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Priaulx Rainier can be credited with the first truly athematic works composed in England.

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Priaulx Rainier was born in 1903 in Howick, Colony of Natal, to a father of Huguenot descent and an English mother.

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Priaulx Rainier studied the violin at the South African College of Music in Cape Town after her family moved there when she was aged 10, but moved permanently to London at the age of 17, in 1920, when she took up a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music.

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Priaulx Rainier studied there with Rowsby Woof and Sir John Blackwood McEwen.

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Priaulx Rainier taught at Badminton School, Bristol, and played violin in a string quartet.

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Priaulx Rainier had encouragement as a composer from Arnold Bax, and in 1937 studied with Nadia Boulanger in Paris but considered herself essentially self-taught.

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Priaulx Rainier's first acknowledged work was Three Greek Epigrams for voice and piano.

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Priaulx Rainier often used ostinato-like repetition and alternation in her works, often of a percussive character.

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Priaulx Rainier's students included Nigel Butterley, Jeremy Dale Roberts, Rachel Cavalho, and Christopher Small.

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Priaulx Rainier remained a close friend of Hepworth and Ben Nicholson.

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Priaulx Rainier claimed that only sculptors and architects fully understood her music.

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Menuhin described Priaulx Rainier as "having a musical imagination of a colour and variety scarcely to be believed".

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Priaulx Rainier was awarded a Doctorate in Music by the University of Cape Town in June 1982.

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Priaulx Rainier was a passionate gardener and ecologist who helped design, and planted the exotic plants in, Barbara Hepworth's Sculpture Garden in StIves.

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Priaulx Rainier died on 10 October 1986 at Besse-en-Chandesse in France, aged 83.

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Priaulx Rainier's "lost" early String Quartet was given its world premiere on 8September 2004 at the Tate StIves Visual Music Week.

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