ALL My Life's Buried Here presents a portrait of pioneering composer and folk song collector George Butterworth for the first time in a film documentary.

On Sunday, filmmaker Stewart Morgan Hajdukiewicz and author Anthony Murphy will attend a 2.30pm screening and question-and-answer session at City Screen, York: the city where Butterworth spent his childhood from the age of six at Riseholme in Driffield Terrace.

A York Civic Trust blue plaque can be found beside the door to the house – now part of The Mount School – with the inscription: The Childhood Home of George Butterworth, MC (1885-1916), English composer, Folk song arranger, Killed at the Battle of the Somme August 1916.

"All My Life's Buried Here aims to remove the thick gauze of history to reveal the true context of Butterworth's life by illuminating his story with contemporary archival materials that have never seen the light of day," says Stewart. "This is a biographical portrait documentary that seeks to bring about deeper understanding of Butterworth's life and work."

George Sainton Kaye Butterworth was born in Paddington, London, on July 12 1885, the only child of Sir Alexander Kaye Butterworth and his wife Julia Marguerite, née Wigan, a professional singer before her marriage.

In 1891, the family moved to York when George's father was appointed as the solicitor and later general manager of the North Eastern Railway Company. George, initially tutored by his mother, won a music scholarship to Eton College after studying at Aysgarth School, the North Yorkshire prep school, and later read law at Trinity College, Oxford, where he was president of the University Music Society.

As he grew more interested in folk music, he abandoned plans to be a lawyer, and so began his all-too-brief career as a composer, folk song collector, folk dancer and prime mover in a radical era of British music before the First World War.

"There has never been another composer quite like Butterworth, and this portrait film is packed with brilliant music and encompasses poetry, tragedy, deep emotion,

rebellion, folk song and dance, nature and war," says Stewart.

"The filmmakers would like to think that, after watching this documentary, you will never hear Butterworth's music in the same way again. We believe passionately in bringing this vital and overlooked chapter in British music back into the spotlight for overdue and deserved reappraisal."

All My Life's Buried Here is the result of more than three years spent securing exclusive access to all known George Butterworth archive collections, as well as drawing on the recollections of Butterworth's surviving family members.

"We travelled throughout the UK and into the Somme region of northern France in the course of the production, and along the way we've uncovered fascinating new information about Butterworth's life and work," says Stewart, whose film invites the viewer to "enter the emotional heart of Butterworth's story to emerge with a better understanding of this unique and luminous figure".

The documentary's treasure trove of archival audio-visual material includes Cecil Sharp's previously unseen pre-1914 photographic portraits of rural English folk singers, as well as charting Butterworth's folk-song collecting trips into the countryside with Ralph Vaughan Williams to give faces and names to the folk singers he met.

Butterworth's orchestral works are performed under conductor (and friend of Butterworth) Sir Adrian Boult, alongside new live performances of Butterworth's song settings by Roderick Williams.

Poignantly too, the documentary reveals what led Butterworth to destroy so much of his music before his death, shot through the head by a German sniper on August 5 1916 at the Somme.

Tickets are on sale on 0871 902 5747 or at

Charles Hutchinson