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Percy M(arshall) Young (1912-2004) Biography


See index for SATA sketch: Born May 17, 1912, in Northwich, Cheshire, England; died May 9, 2004, in York, England. Educator, composer, musician, and author. Young was a scholar of music history who served as director of music at the Wolverhampton College of Technology and was also an authority on Edward Elgar and an accomplished composer in his own right. A graduate of Selwyn College, Cambridge, where he received an organ scholarship and earned a bachelor's in music in 1933 and a master's in 1937, Young developed a passion for the operas of such composers as George Frederic Handel and Henry Purcell. Moving to Belfast, he became music director at Stranmillis Teacher's Training College, and after earning a Ph.D. from Trinity College in 1937 was hired as the musical advisor to city schools in Stoke-on-Trent. Young joined the faculty at the College of Technology in 1944, serving as its music director until he retired from teaching in 1965. While at the college, Young's leadership earned the program a respected reputation; after he left, he focused on music scholarship, enjoying a successful writing career of books on music and sport for both adults and children. Among these are biographies and studies of famous figures in music, such as Vaughan Williams (1953), Johann Sebastian Bach: The Story of His Life and Work (1960), and Sir Arthur Sullivan (1971); general studies of music, including The Choral Tradition: An Historical and Analytical Survey from the Sixteenth Century to the Present Day (1962) and Choral Music of the World (1969); and books about football, such as Manchester United (1960) and Centenary Wolves (1976). Young also wrote many books for children, such as In Search of Music (1956), Football through the Ages (1957), Beethoven (1966), and A Concise History of Music (1974). An accomplished organ player, he composed chamber music, solo songs, and motets such as "From a Child's Garden" and "Passacaglia for Violin and Piano." Young was deeply moved by the works of Elgar, about whom he wrote and edited several books, and one of his accomplishments later in life came when he used Elgar's notes to finish the composer's uncompleted opera The Spanish Lady in 1994. For his contributions to music, Young received several honors, including a Handel Prize in 1961 and an honorary fellowship in 1998 from Selwyn College.



Independent (London, England), May 15, 2004, p. 44.

New York Times, May 24, 2004, p. A25.

Times (London, England), May 18, 2004, p. 26.

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