Born in Cheltenham, England, on September 21, 1874, Gustav Holst's reputation today rests on his powerful 1916 work for orchestra, the Planets. He studied at the Royal Conservatory where he began a lifelong friendship with Vaughan Williams. Like Vaughan Williams, much of his work shows interest in traditional English folksongs, but, as a professional trombonist, Holst's orchestral scores also favor forceful brass writing in the style of Wagner, Strauss, and Stravinsky. His eclectic output also includes concertos written in confident neo-classical style, impressionistic operas and the widely-performed 1917 cantata the Hymn of Jesus. He died in London on May 25, 1934.