Gustav Theodore Holst (September 21, 1874 in Cheltenham, United Kingdom - May 25, 1934 in London), born Gustavus Theodore von Holst , is an English composer. Although best known for his orchestral sequel The Planets (1914-1917), he composed a large number of works of various genres, but none has been so successful. His particular style of composition is the product of several influences including that of the revival of English folk songs at the beginning of the XX century.
The three generations of the preceding Holst family had professional musicians and it was clear from his childhood that he would be a musician. He wanted to be a pianist but could not because of peripheral neuropathy affecting his right arm. Despite the reservations of his father, he began a career as a composer, studying at the Royal College of Music with Charles Villiers Stanford. Unable to live from his compositions, he played the trombone professionally and later became a teacher - an excellent teacher according to his friend Ralph Vaughan Williams. Among his other teaching activities, he has established a strong tradition of performing at Morley College (en) < / span> which he was the musical director from 1907 to 1924.
He is the founder of a series of Whitsun Music Festivals (en) who had place from 1916 to his death.
Holst's works were regularly performed at the beginning of the XX century, but his notoriety really came only because of the international success of the Planets in the years following the First World War. Shy, Holst did not like this fame and preferred to be left alone to compose and teach.