Grainger was born in Melbourne,
in 1882. In 1895, at the age of 17, he emigrated with his mother from Australia
to Europe, and he studied for 4 years in Germany, then moved to London. Here he
established his reputation as a concert pianist, and also started to collect
English folk songs. In 1914 he emigrated to the USA, took US citizenship, and
served in the army as a bandsman.
He later travelled to Scandinavia, where
he met Grieg who became a close friend.
He married a Swedish painter and returned to USA. He did return to Melbourne,
Australia a few times, and he started a musical research centre at the
University of Melbourne.
His more serious music included folk song
settings, one large orchestral work The Warriors, and some modern abstract and
electronic music. He was popular in earlier days for his lighter piano
music, including his arrangement of English Country Gardens and Mock