Many happy returns of the day


WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK, April 14.—Mr. Percy Grainger, the composer who died on February 20, specified in his will, which was filed for probate today, that his skeleton go to the University of Melbourne, Australia, “for preservation and possible display in the Grainger museum”.

Mr. Grainger’s instructions concerning his skeleton have not yet been carried out; whether they will be is still questionable. A friend said that Mr. Grainger’s widow had flown to Australia with the body soon after the death, and it had been buried at her request in a coffin beside that of his mother in Adelaide.

The Times of London, April 15, 1961

Alas, Grainger’s vaguely Benthamite wishes were, indeed, ignored. The University of Melbourne does have his death mask, though.


  1. Percy was a weird one, for sure.I have fond memories of playing his euphonium parts in…what the hell was that piece called? Linconshire Posey? Anyway, high school euphonium players seldom get such nice melodies and solos.But a weird dude, nonetheless.

  2. Oh,no.The weird Grainger stuff is out and about again. This is the man who championed new music, was a stunning folklorist and wrote such pieces as “Random Round” and “The Warriors” that people still find hard work today.hey find me any composer who wrote pieces that could be played by a solo recorder and 3 orchestras!!Eccentric, but so were well over half of the composers in the 20th C

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