Arthur Sullivan

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Date of Birth May 13, 1842
Place of Birth England
Date of Death Nov 22, 1900 (58)
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Arthur Sullivan

Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan MVO was an English composer. He is best known for 14 operatic collaborations with the dramatist W. S. Gilbert, including H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado. His works include 24 operas, 11 major orchestral works, ten choral works and oratorios, two ballets, incidental music to several plays, and numerous church pieces, songs, and piano and chamber pieces. His hymns and songs include "Onward, Christian Soldiers" and "The Lost Chord". The son of a military bandmaster, Sullivan composed his first anthem at the age of eight and was later a soloist in the boys' choir of the Chapel Royal. In 1856, at 14, he was awarded the first Mendelssohn Scholarship by the Royal Academy of Music, which allowed him to study at the academy and then at the Leipzig Conservatoire in Germany. His graduation piece, incidental music to Shakespeare's The Tempest, was received with acclaim on its first performance in London.

About Arthur Sullivan

Second half of Gilbert & Sullivan whose works include 15 popular operas. He wrote the music for the famous 19th-century English hymn "Onward, Christian Soldiers."

Before Fame

His talent with musical instruments was evident at a young age. He composed the anthem "By the Waters of Babylon" when he was eight.


His first opera with W.S. Gilbert was "Thespis" from 1871, followed by "Trial by Jury" from 1875. Their collaborations were so popular and profitable that the Savoy Theatre was built in 1881 specifically to stage them, leading their works to be known as the Savoy operas.

Family Life

He had many love affairs despite never marrying, including one with American socialite Mary Frances Ronalds.


He was influenced by Johann Sebastian Bach.

Information related to Arthur Sullivan

  • Arthur Sullivan Category
  • Gilbert and Sullivan
  • Oratorio composers
  • English Romantic composers
  • Burials at St Paul's Cathedral
  • University of Music and Theatre Leipzig alumni
  • Composers awarded knighthoods
  • English opera composers
  • English Anglicans
  • 19th-century English musicians
  • English male classical composers
  • Alumni of the Royal Academy of Music
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Latest information about Arthur Sullivan updated on November 25, 2020.

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