Ireland, John (Nicholson)
- Hugh Ottaway
(b Bowdon, Cheshire, Aug 13, 1879; d Rock Mill, Washington, Sussex, June 12, 1962). English composer, pianist and teacher.
A somewhat painful and unhappy childhood, followed by the early death of both parents, did much to form the lonely, introspective side of Ireland's personality. Throughout his life he was plagued by feelings of insecurity and inadequacy, which affected his creativity in a number of ways, not all of them negative. His acute self-criticism, his yearning for a spiritual home – the Channel Islands or West Sussex – and the related desire to escape from the present into a distant past, deeply affected much of his music and gave it its distinctive character.
His training was extensive and thorough. He entered the RCM in 1893 and for the next four years concentrated his attention on the piano, studying with Frederic Cliffe. During that time he became increasingly involved in composition and determined to study under Stanford, which he did from ...