Sir Hugh Roberton

1874 - 1952

Conductor and composer. Born in Glasgow, Roberton became a funeral director. A highly motivated and self-taught choir-master, he founded the Toynbee Musical Association in 1901. Five years later, this became the Glasgow Orpheus Choir which gained a world-wide reputation and went on to perform under Roberton's direction for some 45 years.

Roberton composed much for his choir, with perhaps his most famous pieces being All in the April Evening and the Mingulay Boat Song. He had a reputation for getting the very best from his singers, who held him in such great esteem that when he resigned as their leader shortly before his death the choir agreed that they must disband. Thankfully for the tradition of choral music in Glasgow, the Orpheus rose again when many of its members re-formed as the Glasgow Phoenix Choir, which continues to perform and tour to this day. Roberton was knighted in 1931.

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