Michael Tippett (1905 -   )

An English composer whose texted music shows a deep interest in social issues.  His compositional style is characterized by a continuing emphasis on vigorous rhythms and luminous textures, with harmonies that go beyond the late 19th and early 20th centuries without embracing serialism.  The oratorio, "A Child of Our Time" (1944), based on American Negro spirituals, is his most popular work in this country.  His opera, "The Midsummer Marriage" (1952),  continues to be performed thirty years after its premiere at Covent Garden.