Sam Hanna Bell Samuel Beckett John Hewitt Bernard (Barney) Hughes James Joseph Magennis VC Frances Elizabeth Clarke Stewart Parker William Carleton Rosamond Praegar

Arnold Edward Trevor Bax (1883 - 1953):

Arrnold Bax was an English musician known especially as a composer, who made many visits to County Donegal, spending a lot of time in Glencolumbkille for a number of years during the 1920s and was heavily influenced by Irish literature and folklore.

He was knighted in 1937 and in 1941 became Master of the King’s (later Queen's) Musick. He wrote amongst many other works, seven symphonies and several symphonic poems, including The Garden of Fand and Tintagel as well as a violin concerto, a cello concerto, piano solos and music for choral and chamber groups. He also wrote film music, such as Oliver Twist, one of the most notable postwar releases in British cinema.

In the latter part of the twentieth century his music, though never out of favour, did experience something of a revival. Prominent in this was a series of recordings made in Belfast by the Ulster Orchestra under the conductors Bryden Thomson and later Vernon Handley. These recordings were released by the then small British label Chandos to considerable critical and popular acclaim, raising both the profiles and popularity of orchestra and Bax’s music. The authors of the highly regarded New Penguin Guide to Compact Discs and Cassettes (1988) consistently awarded them their highest ratings, supplemented by accolades such as “altogether splendid”. 

He wrote several novels under the pseudonym Dermot O'Byrne. In his autobiography, Farewell My Youth, he writes of his dying wish as being “to gaze from his window at Glen Head in late evening”. He never forgot his beloved Glencolumbkille and Donegal “hovering between the world we know too well and some happy otherworld…”

Born: 8 November 1883
Died: 3 October 1953
Kate Newmann

Additional material: Richard Froggatt