English composer, conductor, and critic. His works include The Rio Grande (1929) and the ballet score Horoscope (1938), which react against contemporary English pastoralism and look to jazz and early Stravinsky for inspiration.
Lambert was born in London, the son of the painter George Washington Lambert. He studied at the Royal College of Music in London, under Ralph Vaughan Williams. While he was still a student, Sergei Diaghilev commissioned the ballet Romeo and Juliet from him and produced it at Monte Carlo, Monaco, in 1926. It was followed by Pomona at Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1927. He began to make his mark as a conductor of ballet with the Camargo Society and was later engaged to conduct ballet at the Sadlers Wells Theatre, London, with which he appeared in Paris, France, in 1937, having already conducted at the International Society for Contemporary Music Festival in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 1933. He also became a concert conductor, was for a time music critic to the journal Referee, and published a book of criticism, Music Ho! A Study of Music in Decline (1934).
WorksStage and incidental music ballets Romeo and Juliet (Monte Carlo, 1926), Pomona (Buenos Aires, 1927), Horoscope (London, 1938); incidental music for Shakespeare's Hamlet; music for films Merchant Seamen and Anna Karenina (after Tolstoy).
Vocal and orchestralSummer's Last Will and Testament (Nash), masque for baritone solo, chorus, and orchestra (1932–35); The Rio Grande for piano, orchestra, and chorus (1929); dirge in Shakespeare's Cymbeline for voices and orchestra; Music for Orchestra; Aubade héroïque for small orchestra; concerto for piano and chamber orchestra.
Other piano sonata; four poems by Li-Po for voice and piano.