The Life and Work of Thomas Pitfield, Composer, Artist, Craftsman, Poet

Rosemary Firman

Manchester: Forsyth, 2024
ISBN 978-0-9514795-4-4

Thomas Pitfield (1903-1999), though best known as a composer (Prelude, Minuet and Reel for piano is his most performed and much-loved work) was a truly remarkable man, being skilled in so many different and surprising fields, and to celebrate him, Forsyths are publishing a lavishly illustrated 500 page hardback book about the man and his achievements. 

‘One of England’s endearing eccentrics’ (Sir Stephen Hough CBE)

‘He must have music wherever he goes!’ (Walter de la Mare)

The book will be launched at a free concert in St Elizabeth’s Church, Ashley, near Altrincham – next to the railway station at 2.30pm on May 18th. There will be a buffet in the church afterwards with food provided by Kauri Foods, run by Shelley Jones, and former chef to the New Zealand ambassador in Brussels.

The performers include James Gilchrist (tenor) and Lesley-Jane Rogers (soprano), together with many distinguished local pianists and instrumentalists.  It is hoped that several new recordings of Tom’s music will also be available for sale at the event, including the new song album from James Gilchrist on the Divine Art label, and other important new releases, as well as copies of the new book.

Please register by 15 February to attend the event for catering purposes: Johnturner@recorderist.co.uk

Photographs © The Pitfield Trust. Picture captions below:

Thomas Pitfield in his later years.

Linocut illustration for Pitfield’s morality play The Devil in White (1942).

Music cover design for his piano duet ‘Dance of the Wedding Guests’.

The Scots Pine from his collection of prose poems illustrated with linocuts, The Poetry of Trees (1942).

The Silver Birch, linocut from The Poetry of Trees (1942).

Self-portrait pencil drawing.