(1905-98) an English composer of classical music, much of which shows his deep concern for the suffering of human beings. He established his reputation in 1941 with the oratorio (= large piece of music for voices and orchestra) A Child of Our Time. He also wrote several operas, including The Midsummer Marriage (1955) and The Knot Garden (1970). His other works include four symphonies and various songs and piano works. During World War II he was sent to prison for a short time for refusing to fight. He was made a knight in 1966 and a member of the Order of Merit in 1983.