Sir Arthur Bliss (1891-1975) was a British composer and conductor. He studied under Wood and Stanford at Cambridge and the Royal College of Music, where he met and drew inspiration from Vaughan Williams, Holst, Howells, and Goossens. He was appointed Master of the Queen’s Music in 1953 and wrote music for many state occasions, including the Coronation and the Funeral of Winston Churchill.
The String Quartet No.1 in Bb Major was first published in 1941. It was actually the third String Quartet Bliss composed, but the first two were early works which he withdrew or lost. It was written in America in 1940 and first performed in Berkeley, California; it became the last work he wrote before he returned to Britain to help the war effort.