During the 1890s the Royal College of Music’s first Professor of Composition, Charles Villiers Stanford (1852–1924), had a stellar roster of students that included Ralph Vaughan Williams, Gustav Holst, and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor; but Stanford considered William Yeates Hurlstone (1876–1906) to have been his best pupil. Hurlstone’s name is now largely forgotten; his promising career was cut short by bronchial asthma when he was 30.
The Royal College of Music Library, in conjunction with RCM’s Centre for Performance History, has sought to rectify this situation with a new online resource. Launched in May 2010, William Yeates Hurlstone includes a biography of the composer, a catalogue of his works, recordings made as part of RCM’s Hurlstone Centenary day in 2006 featuring performances by RCM staff and students, and reproductions of documents and concert programs from the collections of the two sponsoring institutions.
Below, Hurlstone’s Four characteristic pieces.