Sydney-born Frederick Septimus Kelly (1881-1916) was a pianist, composer and oarsman, having rowed for Eton and Oxford, and won a gold medal at the Summer Olympics in London in 1908. Upon completing studies at Balliol College, Oxford, where he read history, he studied piano, composition and counterpoint at the Conservatorium of Music in Frankfurt. Concerts in Sydney followed in 1911 and, upon his return to the United Kingdom, recitals and performances in London, including concerto appearances with the London Symphony Orchestra. Among his chamber music partners were the violinist Jelly d’Aranyi and cellist Pablo Casals. With the outbreak of war in 1914, Kelly fought in Belgium and at Gallipoli, and was killed in the Battle of the Somme in 1916. En route to the Dardanelles in 1915, he sailed with Rupert Brooke and was a mourner at Brooke’s burial on the Greek island of Skyros. Elegy for Strings “In Memoriam Rupert Brooke” was composed at Gallipoli a short time later.
© Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra