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There is only one real happiness in life, and that is the happiness of creating.

 — Frederick Delius

Although born in England, Delius spent almost all of his adult creative life in France and Germany. His style reflects the recognizable, pastoral meanderings of other late-nineteenth century English composers such as Stanford, Vaughan-Williams, and Parry. However, the primary German and French influences – Wagner and Chopin – taught him important lessons in melody expansion and development. Delius was an intentional student and, perhaps because he didn’t begin his musical studies until late in his 20’s, his style developed uniquely from the breadth and depth of experiences he had with the major composers in Leipzig and Paris. Many of his contemporaries recognized his gift, including Grieg, who finally convinced Delius’ father to allow him to embrace composition full-time.

Delius developed a unique voice, established on the foundation of the music of the English countryside, yet advancing because of a thorough understanding of French musical melody-making and German musical storytelling. Even though he started later in life, he pursued and found his creative voice, a practice that gave him real happiness.

Creating something – anything – is the root of happiness. You can start anytime. It’s not too late to find, and express, your unique voice.


ST#152 – Delius