Sir Michael Kemp Tippett (1905–1998)

© the copyright holder. Image credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

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Tippett attended the Royal College of Music from 1923 to 1928 and was recognised as one of Britain's leading composers with the premiere of his three-part oratorio 'A Child of Our Time', at the Adelphi Theatre in 1944. He enjoyed a long career, composing choral works, symphonies, concertos, string quartets and operas; finding inspiration in Beethoven, Elizabethan madrigals, folk, jazz and blues. In the early 1940s, while Director of Music at Morley College, he became friends with Britten and Pears, going on to write 'Boyhood's End' for them in 1943. Tippett composed a total of six operas, including the greatly successful 'King Priam' from 1962. Appointed a CBE in 1959, he was knighted in 1966.

National Portrait Gallery, London



Sir Michael Kemp Tippett (1905–1998)






H 33 x W (?) x D (?) cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased, 1987

Work type



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