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Thomas Pitfield (1903-99)
Thomas Baron Pitfield
1903 - 1999
Tom was born in Bolton on April 5th 1903 and died on November 11th 1999. He was one of the last survivors of a generation of English composers who came to prominence after World War Two and revitalised English music following the deaths of Elgar, Holst and Delius. Unlike his contemporaries, however, who included Michael Tippet (a fellow pacifist), Alan Rawsthorne (a fellow Lancastrian), and William Alwyn (a fellow painter and poet), he chose to pursue his career beyond the mainstream of musical life, especially that of London. His choice was made partly from an innate modesty but also because of strained domestic circumstances.

from (Royal Northern College of Music) :
Tom and his wife, Alice, were vegetarians, which means that they did not eat meat. One way in which they demonstrated their strong feelings about being vegetarians was to write and design a recipe book, entitled Delicatesse, containing some unusual vegetarian dishes. Some of the dishes included in the book originate from Russia, which is where Alice Pitfield was born.

for recipes see

Obituary: Thomas Pitfield
Independent, The (London),  Nov 24, 1999  by Martin Anderson

JACK OF many trades - artist, engraver, poet, teacher, calligrapher, bookbinder, furniture designer and builder, ornithologist - and master of most of them, too, Thomas Pitfield will none the less be remembered chiefly as a composer, of unemphatic, beautifully crafted music.

. . . he decided at an early age to become a strict vegetarian and a pacifist - beliefs that continued to mean much to him all through his life.

In memoriam Thomas Pitfield: Master of arts
Musical Times,  Spring 2000  by Turner, John

Pitfield developed strong anti-establishment principles, including both pacifism and vegetarianism, fiercely upheld by this gentlest of men throughout his life.


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