Our program is entitled British Classics, and grew out of our ambition to perform the entire work, The Planets by Gustav Holst (1874-1934). It’s particularly appropriate to perform this work this summer as we honor the 50th anniversary of the moon landing of July 20, 1969. While studying the music of Holst, our conductor was drawn to two other English composers who lived concurrently, Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) and Edward Elgar (1857-1934). Vaughan Williams and Holst became lifelong friends and the three composers were all greatly in admiration of each other. Elgar had become the most well-known English composer of his time, and Vaughan Williams and Holst respected and were inspired by him. All three English composers were particularly drawn to English folksongs and musical traditions. It is a great combination of composers to perform together on one program. Holst: The Planets (1917) Gustav Theodore Holst (1874-1934) was an English composer, arranger and teacher. Best known for his orchestral suite The Planets, he composed a large number of other works across a range of genres, although none achieved comparable success. His distinctive compositional style was the product of many influences, Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss being most crucial early in ...