Howells, Herbert (Norman)
- Paul Andrews
(b Lydney, Glos., Oct 17, 1892; d London, Feb 23, 1983). English composer and teacher. The youngest of six children, he showed early musical promise and announced his intention of becoming a composer while still a young child. Although the Howells family was not wealthy, thanks to the generosity of a local landowner he was able to study with Brewer at Gloucester Cathedral. In 1912, after two years as Brewer's articled pupil, during which time he also befriended and was influenced by his fellow pupil Gurney, Howells won an open scholarship to the RCM where his principal teachers were Stanford (composition) and Charles Wood (counterpoint). There, he came under the influence of Parry, whose philosophy and humanity inspired a deep and lasting affection. Howells was one of the most brilliant and technically gifted students of a generation which included Bliss, Benjamin and Gurney, and after only a few weeks on Stanford's recommendation, his Mass in the Dorian Mode was sung in Westminster Cathedral. Stanford was an important figure in his early career, describing him as his ‘son in music’. He conducted the première of Howells's First Piano Concerto in ...