George H. Clutsam

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ca. 1919 portrait of Clutsam

George Howard Clutsam (26 September 1866 – 17 November 1951) was an Australian pianist, composer and writer, best remembered as the arranger of Lilac Time. Clutsam published over 150 songs.


Clutsam was born in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. His career began as a pianist, at which he had little formal training. After establishing himself in Australia and New Zealand, he moved to London in 1889, where he continued as an accompanist to various artists including his fellow Australian Nellie Melba in 1893. From 1895 he increasingly moved to arrangement and composition of orchestral works and light opera.

In 1908, Clutsam married Minnie Fischer, a successful singer, also Australian. Between 1908 and 1918 he wrote music criticism for The Observer and "The Musical Times", while continuing to compose and arrange. In 1912, he wrote a biography of Franz Schubert. As well as the many stage works, he wrote numerous songs, including the popular Ma Curly-Headed Babby. Later he became Vice-Chairman of the Performing Right Society. He also wrote music for the silent cinema, and subsequently also composed for the "talkies".

Clutsam published under a number of pseudonyms, namely Paul Aubry, Robert Harrington, H.S. Iseledon, Georges Latour and Ch.G. Mustal.

He died in London in 1951 at the age of 85.

Selected musicals and other worksEdit

  • Carnival Scenes (1895; orchestral work)
  • The Queen's Jester (1904 opera)
  • The Fool's Cap (1906 opera)
  • A Summer Night (1910; opera)
  • King Harlequin (1912; opera/masque)
  • Carmen Ballet (1912; Alhambra Theatre, based on Bizet music)
  • Young England (1916 musical)
  • A Southern Maid (1920; contributed additional music)
  • 101 original studies for the pianoforte (1920)
  • The Green Lanes of England (1920; orchestral suite)
  • Gabrielle (1921 musical)
  • The Little Duchess (1922 play with music)
  • Lilac Time (1922 arrangement of Franz Schubert's music)
  • The Damask Rose (1929; play with arrangements of Chopin music)
  • Lavender (1930 musical)
  • Barbara; or, The Broken Sixpence (1932 comic opera)
  • Heart's Desire (1935; film score)
  • Three Plantation Sketches (orchestral work)
  • Plantation Songs


External linksEdit