George Lloyd was born in 1916 in St. Ives. Both of his parents were musicians and their large house was always filled with music. His father was a flautist and his mother played several string instruments. Having started writing music when he was only ten, George had decided that he was going to be a composer by the age of fourteen.
Because he had missed a lot of musical training due to early ill health, George asked if he might leave school to concentrate on his musical studies. His father agreed but undertook to continue his son’s general education himself. Soon after this, the Lloyds moved to London where George studied composition with Harry Farjeon. He also studied violin for five years with Albert Sammons, who greatly influenced his development.
In 1932, George conducted his First Symphony in Penzance; this was his first major composition. This was soon followed by his first opera, Iernin, the tale of one of the Nine Maidens (standing stones) who comes back to life as a fairy. The story tells that she was not welcomed by the locals who harassed both her and the prince who championed. The opera received its first performance at the Pavilion, Penzance in 1934.
For many years, Lloyd’s music was unpopular, perhaps because of his late romantic style, and from 1952 he spent twenty years as a market gardener in Dorset. However, his music began to regain something of its earlier popularity and, by the time Lloyd died in 1998, his work was once again being widely performed.