Sir Arnold Edward Trevor Bax KCVO (8 November 1883 – 3 October 1953) was an English composer, poet, and author. Born at 13 Pendennis Road, Streatham (commemorated by a Blue plaque) and educated in Balham, Hampstead and the Royal Academy of Music
Arnold Bax was appointed Master of the King's Music in 1942 during George VI's reign and held the post until his death in 1953. During his five years at the Royal Academy of Music, Bax had become interested in the poetry of W.B. Yeats that sparked a love affair with Ireland and Irish and Celtic culture that continued to his last days. One of his final works was the Coronation March in celebration of the Queen's coronation in June 1953.
Film director Ken Russell’s controversial 1992 film-"The Secret life of Arnold Bax" tells the story of how the composer was caught between his loyalty to Harriet Cohen and his obsession and quest for inspiration through Annie, a young cockney fan-dancer whom he meets in a sleazy smoke filled club. Russell plays Bax alongside Glenda Jackson as Harriet Cohen appearing in her last full role before becoming an MP.
Image by Herbert Lambert circa 1922 NPG Ax7753
© National Portrait Gallery, London