Constant Lambert (Leonard Constant Lambert) Biography
(1905–51), (Leonard Constant Lambert), Façade, The Rio Grande, Romeo and Juliet, Horoscope, Tiresias
British composer and writer on music, born in London, educated at Christ's Hospital and the Royal College of Music. A close associate of the Sitwells, he shared the speaking parts with Edith Sitwell in the first production of her Façade in 1922. The Rio Grande (1929), his extravagant setting for Sacheverell Sitwell's poem of that title, reflects his keen interest in jazz and Latin American idioms. His compositions for ballet include Romeo and Juliet (1926), which was commissioned by Diaghilev, Horoscope (1938), and Tiresias (1951), both for the Sadler's Wells company, of which he became musical director in 1930. Among his other well-known works are the choral masque Summer's Last Will and Testament (1936) and Aubade Heroique (1942). His principal work as a writer is Music Ho!: A Study of Music in Decline (1934), a wittily tendentious and critically penetrating survey of contemporary developments in music. Richard Shead's biography of Lambert appeared in 1973.