1905-1998

“Being unable to enter into a biological relationship with a woman, it seemed that I was excluded from an understanding of half the human race."

An atheist and Trotskyite, the openly homosexual Tippett had a way of confounding the gossips by telling everybody exactly what he thought and felt before they had a chance to speculate. He wrote an essay disproving the existence of God at preparatory school and had to be removed from Fettes College after admitting an affair with another boy. Like his mother who was a suffragette, Tippett was a humanitarian and pacifist, but unlike Britten who conveniently got ‘stuck’ in America for most of WWII, Tippett put his money where his mouth was and served a jail sentence as a conscientious objector. [link]

Michael Tippet turned with his back to a grand piano and facing the camera.