Frederick Delius (1862-1934)

Some Suggested Delius Books and Societies
(compiled, with some personal commentary, by Jeff Gower)


Delius Books

Delius: Portrait of a Cosmopolitan - by Christopher Palmer
This is an EXCELLENT book, and is highly recommended for those who are more musically inclined. A thorough musicological study of Delius and his various influences, both geographically- and culturally-derived, as well as his influence on others. Superb!

Frederick Delius: Music, Art and Literature - by Lionel Carley
A recent book published in 1997, which is a collection of essays by musicologists, art historians, etc., and presenting a fresh account of the musical, artistic, and literary aspects of Delius's output.

Frederick Delius - by Sir Thomas Beecham
I like this one. It contains good biographical material, as well as some musical insight by Delius's greatest interpreter.

Delius: A Life in Letters - by Lionel Carley
This is the Delian "bible", for in its two volumes are all the mysteries of Delius revealed, I think. Straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak. Plus some superb background and footnote material from Carley, the leading Delius expert.

Delius: A Life in Pictures - by Lionel Carley and Robert Threlfall
This is a collection of great photos and artwork associated with Delius, with some selected quotes and tidbits of information sprinkled about. I don't know if this is still in print or not.

Delius: The Paris Years - by Lionel Carley
A short and enjoyable book about those years when Delius was in his 20s and 30s and he was the most passionate about life and art (perhaps TOO passionate!). His associations with the leading artists of the day are given - a VERY interesting book.

Delius As I Knew Him - by Eric Fenby
The most famous of the Delius books, written by his ammanuensis of his later years, when he was paralysed by advanced syphilis. Superb classic of musical literature, written from a lifelong devotee of Delius and his music, but in a very objective and honest tone. The book was made into a British TV movie directed by Ken Russell. Much of the common perception of Delius as a misanthropic bitter old man comes from this book/movie, which is unfortunate I think, because he was a life-lover and befriender of many when he was not ill.

Delius - by Arthur Hutchings
A musicological and critical biography of Delius. Although it is interesting to read, I don't necessarily agree with many of the conclusions or emphases derived by Hutchings.

Delius - by Alan Jefferson
A very good biography, with little in the way of musicological info. A fine listing of works is included.

A Delius Companion - edited by Christopher Redwood
This is a very enjoyable, although frequently historically suspect, collection of essays and articles on Delius and by Delius. Composers, conductors, musicologists, you-name-it, they are here, speaking their mind on Delius, the man and the composer.

Frederick Delius - by Philip Heseltine (Peter Warlock)
An early Delius biography and musical analysis, written in 1923. Delius read this book even! Of course, it is quite slanted in Delius' favor, being that Warlock worshipped him. But it is well-written, with colorful language and with some very interesting analyses of Delius's work to that point.


Delius Societies/Association

The Delius Society - England
The main Delius society is located in England, and is very active and they produce a quarterly Journal of the highest quality - VERY impressive folks!

The Delius Society - Philadelphia Branch
This is the main USA Society branch, which publishes a quarterly 20-or-so-page newsletter/bulletin entitled "The Delian". Another very impressive and very nice group of folks. Queries to The Delius Society, Philadelphia Branch, Inc., 3432 Bleigh Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19136, USA. You may phone the chairman, Bill Marsh, at (215) 968-5979. You can also email the editor of The Delian,
Harold Diamond. The membership dues are $15 per year.

The Delius Association of Florida
These folks hold an annual Delius Festival with music, tours of the Delius house and site where he lived and studied music for a few years in the 1880s, and other fun things. Queries to The Delius Association of Florida, Inc., P.O. Box 5621, Jacksonville, Florida, 32247-5621, USA. Dues are as follows: Student, $5; Subscriber, $15; and on up from there, depending on desired category (sustainer, patron, donor, benefactor, life). (NOTE: As of 2004, The Delius Association merged with The Riverside Fine Arts Society of Jacksonville.)

West Coast Delius Society
California-based group that produces the West Coast Delius Society Newsletter. Queries to John Luther, President, West Coast Delius Society, 6183 Laguna Court, Long Beach, California 90803, USA.