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Percy Grainger
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Composer
    (July 8, 1882-February 20, 1961)
    Born in Brighton, Victoria, Australia
    Birth name was George Percy Grainger
    Classical pianist and composer
    Notable compositions include 'Country Gardens, 'Irish Tune from County Kerry,' 'Molly on the Shore' and 'Lincolnshire Posy'
    He was rumored to have had incestual relations with his mother.
    He was a sadomasochist with an enthusiasm for whips.
    He had the walls and ceilings at his houses covered in mirrors so he could photograph the results of self-flagellation sessions from every possible angle.
    He married poet Ella Strom on stage at the Hollywood Bowl following a concert (August 9, 1928).
    He believed in the racial superiority of blond-haired blue-eyed northern Europeans to the point where he refused to use French and Italian musical terms.
    He made his own clothes out of towels.
    He often wore the same clothes for days, commenting, 'Concert audiences can't tell the difference.'
    His dress got him twice arrested for vagrancy.
    His mother contracted syphilis from his father and as a result refused to touch Percy until he was five out of fear of infecting him.
    When he was eight, his father abandoned the family.
    His mother would discipline him with a horsewhip.
    He made his concert debut at age 12.
    His playing was unaffected despite losing the tip of a finger in a bicycle chain while he was in his teens.
    He incorporated folk tunes into his compositions.
    During World War I, he gave concerts to raise money for the Red Cross and to sell war bonds.
    Despite his racial views, he was a good friend and admirer of Duke Ellington.
    He twice turned down honorary doctorates, saying 'I feel that my music must be regarded as a product of non-education.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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