During the 1930s, British music benefited from the arrival of several emigrés intent on escaping the horrors of fascism. Egon Wellesz (1885-1974), Mátyás Seiber (1905-60) and Franz Reizenstein (1911-68), pupils of Schoenberg, Kodály and Hindemith respectively, were all influential as teachers. Another Schoenberg pupil, Roberto Gerhard (1896-1970), was ignored for the first decade or so following his arrival, a time when he was consolidating his use of serialsim; in the First String Quartet (1950-5) he developed his own technique of applying serial principles to rhythm. Subsequently he relinquished thematicism, leaving the organization of timbre as the prime structural factor in, for instance, his Concerto for Orchestra (1965) and the three final chamber works, Gemini for violin and piano (1966), and Libra (1968) and Leo (1969), both for small ensembles of contrasting instruments.
Sir Andrzej Panufnik (1914-91), another emigré (arriving from Poland in 1954), together with Wellesz and Gerhard, bequeathed a considerable symphonic legacy. So, too, did such native composers as Edmund Rubbra (1901-86) and William Alwyn (1905-85), while George Lloyd (1913-98), Malcolm Arnold (1921-2006) and Robert Simpson (1921-97) continued to do so. In contrast to the vibrantly colourful symphonies of the romantics Alwyn and Lloyd, those of Rubbra, propelled by contrapuntal thinking and muted in colour, stand like ancient monuments, awesome in their totality, yet arising from very modest beginnings. A similar evolutionary process can be traced in Simpson's symphonies, although his model is not, as it was for Rubbra, sixteenth-century polyphony, but Beethoven, particularly his dynamism and type of thematic development. While most of the symphonies of Arnold are outwardly more immediately attractive, the enigmatic effect of including popular, light entertainment tunes within a nonpopular context raises important questions about the nature of stylistic unity, questions that have been increasingly highlighted by the enthusiasm of more recent composers for drawing on widely divergent models on which to base their style. Another precursor of this development is Ronald Stevenson (1928- ), whose Passacaglia on DSCH for piano (1962) has a "global" range of reference, including the music of the work's dedicatee, Shostakovich, African drumming and a Scottish Pibroch.