She served on the Bloomsbury House Refugee Committee, working with musicians from Austria and Germany. In January 1940 she was appointed by Sir Walford Davies to be one of six musicians charged with inspiring and organising musical activities among civilians in rural areas. The scheme, originally funded by the Pilgrim Trust, was taken over by the newly formed Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts, forerunner of the Arts Council of Great Britain. In July 1951 she resumed her freelance career, and in the autumn of 1952 the composer Benjamin Britten asked her to go to Aldeburgh, Suffolk, to help with his opera Gloriana. She had first met him and his partner, the tenor Peter Pears, in the 1940s, and they became close friends.
She lived in Aldeburgh for the rest of her life, initially working closely with Britten both as his music assistant and for the Aldeburgh Festival, of which she was an artistic director from 1956 to 1977. In 1953 she arranged for string orchestra William Byrd's keyboard setting of an old Irish tune, "Sellinger's Round". This became the basis of the Variations on an Elizabethan Theme, jointly composed by Britten, Lennox Berkeley, Arthur Oldham, Michael Tippett, and William Walton. The work was premiered at the 1953 Aldeburgh Festival, in honour of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. In 1963 she published An ABC of Music, an introduction to music theory, which is still in print. In 1964 Holst left Aldeburgh to concentrate on recording and editing the music of her father.
With composer Colin Matthews she edited scholarly editions of her father's works (including four volumes of facsimiles) and compiled A Thematic Catalogue of Gustav Holst's Music (1974). She was appointed a fellow of the RCM in 1966, an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music in 1970 and a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1975. She received honorary doctorates from the universities of Essex (1968), Exeter (1969), and Leeds (1983). She died on 9th March 1984 aged seventy-six, and is buried in the churchyard of Saint Peter and Saint Paul's Church in Aldeburgh. Her grave can be found directly behind those of Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears. Read more on Last.fm.
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