Delius and Gauguin –A Conversation

A concert of music expressing significant exchanges between composers and artists

(c) The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London
(c) The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London


Featured in:

Arts & Collections International Magazine ( View Article)

Nikkei Newspaper Japan, July 2012

Delius Society Journal, Spring 2013

1st Album: Colours of the Heart: Delius, Debussy, Ravel, Grieg, 2014


Frederick Delius (1862-1934) was an English composer, who interacted with many artists and poets during his career in Paris and Grez-sur-Loing. From his settlement in France from 1888 onwards, he met artists such as Gauguin, Munch, Daniel de Monfried and Rodin, with whom he interacted as friends and whose works he admired. During his Paris years (1888-99), there was also a circle of artists and composers who were brought together by William Molard, an amateur composer who held an open house for artists to exchange ideas.

This concert presents works by composers who interacted with Delius and other artists in the “Molard Circle”. Through his encounters with artists and their works, Delius’ style developed in a particular way that could be linked with the development of style during the post-impressionist period. A particular painting that could be associated most closely with Delius’ music is Gauguin’s Nevermore. Delius admired this painting. He bought it from Gauguin in 1898, and hung it on the wall in his music room in Grez, where he composed many works. Compared to Delius’ earlier works, which resemble the conventional structure of Romanticism and reflecting influence of Edvard Grieg’s music, his later works are extremely different – it is as if his music became a mix of the mysterious colours against the vivid colours of Nevermore. His palette of harmony developed a range from the extremities of dark to brilliant colours, and was used in a way that was similar to Gauguin’s expression of colours in Nevermore.

This concert would invite the audience to a journey through Delius’ artistic encounters, an exploration of stylistic development through visual colours and harmony. The programme is structured around the life of Delius – starting with his very first Sonata for violin and piano, and developing through his associates in the circle, to finish with his last Sonata for violin and piano No.3. Through these pieces, I hope to express the intimacy of ideas and inspiration shared by composers and artists.


Frederick Delius: Sonata for violin and piano B major (1892)
Edvard Grieg: Lieder, transcribed for violin and piano by Émile Sauret
Claude Debussy: Sonata for violin and piano (1916)
Maurice Ravel: Sonata for violin and piano (1927)
Frederick Delius: Sonata for violin and piano No.3 (1930)




14th September 2012, 1pm

Lecture recital at the Royal Academy of Music

with Simon Callaghan (piano)


19th September 2012, 1:05pm

St.James Piccadilly


21st Septebmer 2012, 7:30pm

Royal Over-Seas League

with Simon Callaghan (piano)


14th October 2012,   1:15pm

Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Sunday Promenade Series


14th November 2012, 7pm

Lecture Recital at Shibuya Culture Centre, Tokyo

with Yukino Kano (piano)


Thank you to the following organisations for their generous support for this project:

The Delius Society & the Delius Trust

The Courtauld Gallery