Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) was a British composer who studied at the Royal College of Music and had early success at Gloucester Festival with his 1898 ‘Ballade in A Minor’.
Named after the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Coleridge-Taylor was born in London, and was the son of Alice Martin and a physician father, Dr. Daniel Peter Hughes Taylor, who was never quite able to overcome prejudice to fulfil his profession so returned to West Africa.
Coleridge-Taylor showed an early promise for music, his own father teaching him violin from a young age. He was encouraged to attend the Royal College of Music, and did so at the same time as Ralph Vaughan Williams and Gustav Holst enrolled.
He began writing music under the tutelage of his professor, Charles Stanford.
He had success early on with his ‘Ballade in A Minor’, which his publisher August Jaeger described as “genius”, and is also famous for his cantata trilogy, The Song of Hiawatha.