List of compositions by Arthur Sullivan

Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan

The following is a list of musical works by the English composer Arthur Sullivan, best known for his operatic collaborations with W. S. Gilbert. In all, Sullivan's artistic output included 23 operas, 13 major orchestral works, eight choral works and oratorios, two ballets, one song cycle, incidental music to several plays, numerous hymns and other church pieces, and a large body of songs, parlour ballads, part songs, carols, and piano and chamber pieces.[1]

Sullivan began to compose music at an early age. His first known composition, By the Waters of Babylon, dates from when he was eight years old. While a member of the prestigious boys' choir of the Chapel Royal, with the support of the choirmaster, Thomas Helmore, Sullivan composed several more anthems, and one of these, O, Israel, was Sullivan's first published composition, in 1855.[2] Sullivan attended the Royal Academy of Music from 1856 to 1858 and the Leipzig Conservatoire in Germany from 1858 to 1861.[3] As his graduation piece, Sullivan composed a set of incidental music to Shakespeare's The Tempest.[3] Revised and expanded, it was performed at the Crystal Palace in 1862 and was an immediate sensation. He began building a reputation as England's most promising young composer.[4]

Sullivan continued to compose throughout his life. At his death at age 58, he left unfinished a comic opera, The Emerald Isle, completed by Edward German and produced in 1901, and his Te Deum Laudamus, written to commemorate the end of the Second Boer War, which was performed posthumously.[5]

Theatre musicEdit


A scene from Trial by Jury as illustrated in the magazine Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News of 1 May 1875
Illustration of scene from Ivanhoe in The Graphic, 1891

Incidental music to playsEdit

Sullivan at 18, in Leipzig
Embossed cover of the score
Sheet music


Choral works with orchestraEdit

Orchestral worksEdit

Song cycleEdit

Church musicEdit

Sullivan's church music includes:[7]

  • By the Waters of Babylon, c. 1850, unpublished
  • Sing unto the Lord, 1855, unpublished
  • Psalm 103, a setting of Psalm 103, 1856, unpublished
  • We have heard with our ears
    1. Dedicated to Sir George Smart, performed at the Chapel Royal in January 1860
    2. Dedicated to Rev. Thomas Helmore, published by Novello, 1865
  • O Love the Lord, dedicated to John Goss, Novello 1864
  • Te Deum, Jubilate, Kyrie (in D major), setting of Te Deum, Psalm 100, Kyrie, Novello 1866
  • O God, Thou art Worthy, for the wedding of Adrian Hope on 3 June 1867, Novello 1871
  • O Taste and See, dedicated to Rev. C. H. Haweis, Novello 1867
  • Rejoice in the Lord, for the wedding of Rev. R. Brown-Borthwick on 16 April 1868, Boosey 1868
  • Sing, O Heavens, dedicated to Rev. F. C. Byng, Novello 1869
  • I Will Worship, dedicated to Rev. F. Gore Ouseley, Boosey 1871
  • Two Choruses adapted from Russian Church Music, Novello 1874
    1. Turn Thee Again
    2. Mercy and Truth
  • I Will Mention Thy Loving-kindness, dedicated to John Stainer, Novello 1875
  • I Will Sing of Thy Power, Novello 1877
  • Hearken Unto Me, My People, Novello, 1877
  • Turn Thy Face, Novello 1878
  • Who is Like unto Thee, dedicated to Walter Parratt, Novello 1883
  • I Will Lay Me Down in Peace, 1868, Novello 1910

Other worksEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Jacobs, Arthur. "Sullivan, Sir Arthur," Grove Music Online, Oxford Music Online, accessed 19 August 2011 (subscription required)
  2. ^ Howarth, Paul. "Sir Arthur Sullivan as a Church Musician", The Gilbert and Sullivan Archive, 30 August 2011, accessed 30 June 2016
  3. ^ a b Jacobs, pp. 17–24
  4. ^ Lawrence, Arthur H. "An Illustrated interview with Sir Arthur Sullivan", The Strand Magazine, vol. xiv, No. 84, December 1897
  5. ^ Howarth, Paul. "Te Deum Laudamus, A Thanksgiving for Victory", the Gilbert and Sullivan Archive, 12 January 2010, accessed 28 August 2011
  6. ^ "Imperial March", The Gilbert and Sullivan Archive, 11 September, 2010, accessed 30 June 2016
  7. ^ Church Music


  • Jacobs, Arthur (1984). Arthur Sullivan: A Victorian Musician. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-315443-9.