Philip Sainton

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Philip Prosper Sainton (10 November 1891 – 2 September 1967) was a BritishFrench composer, conductor, and violist.


He was born in Arques-la-Bataille, in Seine-Maritime, France, grandson to violinist Prosper Sainton and contralto Charlotte Helen Sainton-Dolby. He started his music studies learning the violin. At some point he entered the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he studied composition under Frederick Corder and viola under Lionel Tertis. Shortly after World War I, he joined the Queen's Hall orchestra, which he relinquished in 1929 to replace H. Waldo Warner in the London Quartet. In 1925 he was also appointed principal viola of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1930, after the London Quartet's tour of the United States, he joined the BBC Symphony Orchestra. His composition activities had begun early. Already by 1923 he had conducted his first orchestral work, Sea Pictures, at Queen's Hall promenade concerts. In 1935, Sir Henry Wood conducted the premiere of his Serenade Fantastique with Bernard Shore playing the viola. He was professor at the Guildhall School of Music.

Today, he is perhaps most remembered as the composer of the score for John Huston's 1956 film Moby Dick. He died in Petersfield, Hampshire in England.



  • The Dream of the Marionette, Ballet (1929)


  • Sea Pictures (1923–1924)
  • Harlequin and Columbine (published 1925)
  • Sérénade Fantastique for Viola and Orchestra (1935)
  • The Island, Tone Poem (1939) - recording conducted by Matthias Bamert, 1992
  • Caricature (1940)
  • Nadir, Tone Poem (1942)
  • Sérénade Fantastique for Oboe and String Orchestra (1953?)
  • Moby Dick, Suite from the Film (1956)
The Clipper
  • Carnival

Chamber music

  • Crépuscule for Viola and Piano (1935)
  • Phantom Gavotte for Viola and Piano


  • Even for Me for Voice and Piano
  • He Was My King for Voice and Piano; words by Helen Waddell
  • Jonah's Hymn from Moby Dick for Voice and Piano
  • Leaves, Shadows and Dreams for Voice and Piano; words by Fiona Macleod
  • A Night in Spring for Voice and Piano; words by Clifford Bax
  • Shieling Song for Voice and Piano; words by Fiona Macleod
  • The Song of the Wind Bell for Voice and Piano; words by Harold Acton
  • A Walk by the River at Night for Voice and Piano; words by Clifford Bax

Film music

  • Moby Dick (1956)
  • A King in New York (1957); incomplete

Orchestrations of works by Jack Sydney Gerber

  • Balaton Rhapsody
  • Fiesta
  • Prelude to Stonehenge
  • The Sea


External links