Artist Catalog

Leslie Heward

Leslie Heward

Leslie Hays Heward (8 December 1897 – 3 May 1943) was an English composer and conductor. Between 1930 and 1942 he was the Music Director of the City of Birmingham Orchestra.

Heward was born in Liversedge, Yorkshire, the son of a railway porter and organist. He showed remarkable musical promise as a child. By the age of two he was playing the piano, by the age of four he was playing the organ, and by the age of eight he was accompanying a performance of Handel's Messiah on the organ in Bradford. In 1917 he won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music. There he was one of the first pupils in Adrian Boult's conducting class, and was described by Hubert Parry as "the kind of phenomenon that appears once in a generation".

He conducted the first performance (1938) and the first recording (1942) of Ernest John Moeran's Symphony in G minor.
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