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The Frankfurt Group, also called the Frankfurt Gang or the Frankfurt Five, was a group of English-speaking composers and friends who studied composition under Iwan Knorr at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt am Main in the late 1890s. The group included Balfour Gardiner, Roger Quilter, Norman O'Neill and Cyril Scott, who were all English, and Percy Grainger, who was born in Australia and established himself as a composer in England between 1901 and 1914 before moving to the United States. Although they did not study in Frankfurt all at the same time they remained close friends from their student days onwards.
Knorr, though German-born, was strongly influenced by Russian music and was a believer in fostering the individuality of his pupils. The Frankfurt group were united more by their friendship and their non-conformity than by any common aim, though they did share a dislike of Beethoven, and a resistance to the musical nationalism of the self-styled English Musical Renaissance of Hubert Parry and Charles Villiers Stanford, and of the later English Pastoral School of Ralph Vaughan Williams and Gustav Holst. The group was distinguished by its rebelliousness, and by studying abroad they stood apart from the conservative wider English musical establishment.
Grainger described the group as Pre-Raphaelite composers, arguing that they were musically distinguished from other British composers by "an excessive emotionality ... particularly a tragic or sentimental or wistful or pathetic emotionality", reached through a focus on chords rather than musical architecture or "the truly English qualities of grandeur, hopefulness and glory". Most rebellious were Grainger and Scott, whose music often crossed the boundaries of accepted musical convention. Scott's work for a time gave up the use of bars and time signatures, while employing dissonant harmonies and highly individual orchestration.
- Peter Cahn, Das Hoch'sche Konservatorium in Frankfurt am Main (1878-1978), Frankfurt am Main: Kramer, 1979.
- Howes, Frank (1966). "Tributaries from Frankfurt, Birmingham and Elsewhere". The English Musical Renaissance. London: Secker & Warburg. pp. 192–202. OCLC 930472265.
- Langfield, Valerie (2002). Roger Quilter: His Life and Music. Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer. ISBN 0851158714. Retrieved 2017-11-28.
- Lloyd, Stephen (2005). H. Balfour Gardiner. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 052161922X. Retrieved 2017-11-28.