George F. Linstead

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George Frederick Linstead
(1908 -1974)
by Christopher Powell

GFL as a boy chorister with sisters Kit and Marjorie and elder brother Charles

St Cuthbert's, Parish Church of Doveridge, where GFL spent his childhood.




1859   Frederck Albert Linstead, GFL, father, born at

            Hockham, Norfolk.

1863   Catherine Elizabeth Harvey, GFL, mother,

            born at Vinehall, Sussex.

1892   Mary Francis Linstead, born at Melrose,

            Scotland,   (died 1992)

1896   Constance Ruth Linstead born at Melrose.

1898   Dorothy Linstead born at Great Bowden,


1900   Catherine Harriet Linstead born at Melrose 


1901   Census records show the family living at

            Great Bowden.

1902   Marjorie Linstead born.

1904   Charles Caleb Linstead born at Melrose on 9th

            January [d.1959].

1906   May Dorothy Griffiths (Linstead's future wife)

             born on 4th May at Oxton, Cheshire.

1908  George Frederick Linstead born on 24th January at Melrose in Roxburghshire, Scotland, the last of seven children.

1911   Linstead family move from Melrose to Doveridge

             in South Derbyshire.

1913   GFL enters Doveridge National School where his elder brother, Charles, is already a pupil.

1915   Frederick Linstead, GFL's father dies of pneumonia and is buried in Doveridge Churchyard.

1917   GFL moves with his mother and siblings to


1919   GFL attends Sheffield Central School and begins


            Henry Hadow appointed Vice Chancellor of

            Sheffield University.

1920   GFL composes a Piano Sonata and begins his first major composition: an oratorio The Revelation of St John - later destroyed.

1922   An opera King John - also destroyed.

1923   Traditional Rhapsody for piano composed - originally opus 3, later listed as opus 1.

GFL leaves Sheffield Central School and begins work in the hat department of Dunn's Gentlemen's Outfitters - later given six months to find more suitable employment.

1924   An opera based on the Agamemnon of Aeschylus composed – later destroyed.

1925   GFL has his first broadcast both as a pianist and

            as a composer.

1928   Frank Henry Shera becomes James Rossiter Hoyle Professor of Music at Sheffield University.

GFL begins studying with Shera as a part-time


GFL's first post as Organist and Choirmaster, possibly at St. Stephen’s, Sheffield.

1929   GFL passes ARCM diploma in Theory of Music on 30th September. AMusTCL in theory also probably gained at this time.

1930   Idyll for Wind Quartet composed and performed.

Sir Henry Hadow retires as Vice Chancellor of Sheffield University [d.1933].

1931   Catherine Linstead, GFL's mother, dies in Sheffield on 23rd April and is buried in Doveridge Churchyard next to her husband.

GFL graduates BMus at Durham University on 3rd


1932   Sonata for Clarinet and Piano composed and first performed at the Victoria Hall, Sheffield on 26th March by William H. Roystone with GFL at the piano.

Six Variations on an English folk tune for double bassoon composed and performed.

Octet for five Players composed and performed.

March and Meditation for Brass Band composed.

Rhapsody for Viola and Piano composed.

During the 1930's, GFL has piano lessons with concert pianist James Ching and lessons in composition with Sir Edward Bairstow.

1933   GFL appointed Organist and Choirmaster at St. Mary's, Walkley – his third Church post.

            Two Irish Dances arranged for orchestra.

Pièce d’Occasion for Strings and Timpani 

composed and performed.

Scene for a ballet Hylas and the Water Nymphs composed and performed.

1934   Sonata for Violin and Piano composed (revised

            in 1944).

GFL is pianist in Constant Lambert's Rio Grande and in Peter Crossley-Holland's Fantasy Quintet.

Quartet for Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon and Double Bass composed and performed.

GFL's compositions reach opus 100 with The Holy Bottle a Rabelaisian chamber opera.

1935   GFL passes FTCL diploma in ‘The Art of

            Teaching’ in July.

Doveridge a Symphonic Study composed.

GFL conducts ‘The Desert Song’ to packed audiences at the Sheffield   Empire.

1936   March of the City Councillors performed by the BBC Northern Orchestra.

Wind Quintet Mood composed and performed in


Incidental music to The Cricket on the Hearth performed in Southampton.

Overture in C for orchestra composed (performed

 in 1938).

Phantasmagoria - a ballet, composed and


1937   Opera Eastward of Eden composed and performed by Croft House Operatic Society.

Symphonic Movement composed.

1938   Four Moods, a set of four piano pieces each dedicated to an important person in his life, published by Augener.

Le Babil and Une Brioche for piano composed (published by Gill in 1945). Une Brioche dedicated to Poulenc.

Linstead's Symphonic Movement, Concertino for Piano and Orchestra No.1 and Overture in C performed and broadcast by the BBC Northern Orchestra conducted by the composer.

1939   Opera Eastward in Eden receives second performance by Sheffield City Training College.

GFL is pianist in Holst's Hymn of Jesus with the Hallé Orchestra under Malcolm Sargent.

1939- During the War, GFL works as Regional Labour

            Officer -45 for the Ministry of Supply.

 [N.B. The George Linstead who obtained a BSc pass degree in Chemistry as an external student of London University in 1932 and taught at Nether Edge Grammar School during the War was not the composer as is stated erroneously on the school’s web site.]

1940   GFL marries May Dorothy Griffiths (‘Mamie’) at Christ Church, Fulwood on 14th May.

GFL awarded DMus degree by the University of

 Durham on 25th June.

In Nomine for Orchestra composed.

GFL appointed Music Critic of the Sheffield Daily


1941   Stephen Guy Linstead, the Linsteads’ only child, born in Chesterfield on 23rd June.

String Quartet No.1 composed (revised in 1944).

Concertino for Piano and Orchestra No.2


1943   String Quartet No.2 composed (revised and

             performed 1949).

In 1943 and 1944, GFL arranged and composed a number of works for Military Bands including Two Yorkshire Tunes that were broadcast by the BBC.

1944   In Nomine arranged for strings.

In Nomine for orchestra performed by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the version for Strings by the BBC Northern Orchestra.

Two Scottish Tunes for orchestra composed.

1945   In Nomine for orchestra performed by the CBSO and by the Hallé Orchestra.

GFL passes ARCO on 20th July.

1946   Notturno for orchestra composed.

1947   Organ solo Incarnatus composed [performed


Moto Perpetuo composed and performed by the


Sonatina for violin composed.

GFL appointed Part-time Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Music, Sheffield University.

1948   Moto Perpetuo performed by the CBSO (twice) and the Hallé Orchestra.

GFL begins work on a Symphony (the middle Scherzo movement performed in 1953).

GFL initiated into Hadassah Lodge of Freemasons on 31st March, passed 30/06/48 raised 24/10/48.

Shera retires as Professor of Music.

GFL is appointed temporary, full-time, assistant lecturer for one year after which he returns to the annual, part-time, assistant lecturer contract he retains until his death.

Stewart Deas appointed Professor of Music.

1949   Two Scottish Tunes for orchestra performed by

            the CBSO.

Sonata for Violin and Piano (1934, rev.1944)


1950   Castleton Garland Dance composed in June and performed later in the year by the Hallé Orchestra and the CBSO.

GFL elected President of Sheffield Singers'

Operatic Society.

1951   GFL passes FRCO on 19th January.

Organ solo Incarnatus performed by the composer at St. Mary's, Walkley.

CBSO perform Moto Perpetuo in Sheffield City


Linstead's String Quartet No.2 performed at the annual meeting of the Committee for the Promotion of New Music.

Moto Perpetuo performed again by the CBSO.

1952   Recitative and In Nomine for wind sextet


1953   Recitative and In Nomine performed by the LSO Wind Ensemble in London in January.

Scherzo for orchestra (composed in 1948) performed in February by the CBSO conducted by Rudolf Schwarz.

GFL passes BA in English at London University

on 1st August.

GFL appointed Organist and Choirmaster at

Christ Church, Fulwood.

1954   Psalm 103 Benedic Anima Mea for chorus and orchestra composed (performed 1979).

Film score Engineers in Steel composed and recorded by the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra conducted by Maurice Miles.

GFL exalted into the Royal Arch Chapter of Paradise No.139 on 15th March.

Anthem Thus Saith the Lord God composed and performed.

Overture on a theme by Monteverdi for strings


1955   Overture 'In the French Style' composed, performed and broadcast by the BBC Northern Orchestra from the Milton Hall, Manchester.

GFL is soloist in a performance of Schumann's Piano Concerto in A minor at Sheffield City Hall.

1956   Professor Frank Shera dies in Sheffield on 21st


1958   GFL installed into the De Furnival Preceptory of Masonic Knights Templar No. 66 on 23rd May.

            Partita for Organ on ‘Veni Creator Spiritus’


1959   Overture 'In the French Style' performed by the


GFL perfected into Talbot Rose Croix Chapter on

20th November.

1960   Le Babil republished by Chester.

1961   Anglican Overture composed and performed by

            the Hallé Orchestra.

GFL arranges the Jamaican folksong Linstead

Market for piano.

1962   GFL becomes Provincial Grand Organist of KT.

1964   String Quartet No.3 composed - first movement only performed by the Hallam Quartet on 14th April, 1965.

1966   GFL invested as Grand Organist, Province of Yorkshire, West Riding on 18th May.

1967   GFL plays the organ for the dedication of Tapton Masonic Hall on 24th June.

1968   Stewart Deas retires as Professor of Music and Dr. Basil Deane appointed.

1971   Bagatelles composed for the Sheffield University Chamber Orchestra and performed in December, 1973 in the Firth Hall.

1973   GFL composes Capriccio for organ (performed posthumously, in 1979) and Processional for organ.

1974   GFL dies at 6 Westwood Road, Sheffield on 29th


1975   GFL's funeral service held at Christ Church, Fulwood on 3rd January. His ashes later buried at Doveridge.

Memorial service for GFL held at Sheffield

Cathedral on 11th January.

1979   Works by GFL performed in a University Music Department Concert including the first performance of Capriccio for organ.

2001   GFL's wife, May Dorothy, dies in Birmingham on 11th February aged 94. Her ashes are interred with those of her husband in Doveridge Churchyard.


"A Musician of Renown" - memorial to GFL in graveyard of St Cuthbert's Doveridge

Material on this web page is an extract from "The Life and Works of George Frederick Linstead (1908 - 1974) - A Centenary Tribute" by Christopher Powell. For further details on this monograph see "Contact Us" page.