Alexander Campbell Mackenzie Composer

An underrated and prolific composer, Mackenzie was born in Edinburgh on 22 August, 1847. He studied music at Sonderhausen in Germany at the age of 10 (becoming a professional violinist there one year later!), returning to study at the Royal Academy of Music, London. He was principal there from 1888-1924, where his considerable skills as an administrator and teacher were valued.

His first musical publication was a Piano Quartet (1873). Other pieces include the Pibroch Suite for violin and orchestra, the overtures Coriolanus and Britannica, and the Scottish Concerto for piano and orchestra. An oratorio The Rose of Sharon (1884) is a setting of parts of the Songs of Solomon, though Mackenzie's assertion that with his revision 'any trace of a religious basis disappeared' did not enamour the work, excellent though it is, to straight-laced Victorian conductors.

His work, contemporary with Sir Hubert Parry and Sir Charles Stanford, is associated with the revival of British music in the late 19th century. He was knighted in 1922 and died in London, on 28 April 1935.