The British Music Society

Chairman John Gibbons
Home Farm, 139 Buckingham Rd, Old Bletchley, MK3 5JD
01908 367748
vice-chairman Raphael Terroni
4 Windsor Drive, Ramsey Forty Foot, Huntingdon, Cambs. PE26 2XX
01487 813915
Secretary Pauline Gillard
3 Rock Close, Brislington, Bristol BS4 4LN
0117 971 0534
Treasurer Stephen Trowell
7 Tudor Gardens, Upminster, Essex RM14 3DEĀ 
01708 224795


The British Music Society was founded in 1979 by a group of musical enthusiasts, both amateur and professional, who believed in the need for an organisation which by its specific promotional efforts might help combat the generally indifferent attitude then widely displayed by many music lovers in this country towards their home-grown British musical tradition. It was felt that, while a number of the most famous British composers such as Purcell, Sullivan, Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Delius and Britten perhaps did not need special support in this regard, often having individual societies and organisations of their own to help promote their music, many more composers of comparable worth — such as Bax, Bridge, Ireland, Moeran and Warlock — had written much fine music which was virtually never heard in concert halls and recording studios of the day and deserved fuller promotional attention. Moreover, this small list of names represented only the tip of a very large iceberg of British composers whose music was then little performed.

Over the thirty years which have passed since the BMS was founded, there has been significant change in the cultural situation just described, due in good part to the Society’s pioneering efforts; and a wealth of British music not heard for decades has been rediscovered, particularly through the dissemination of recorded music. But the need for special promotional effort continues, and the aim of the British Music Society remains to encourage and renew international enthusiasm for much British music of the last 150 years or so which is still too often undeservedly neglected.

This aim is pursued through the dissemination of recordings and printed publications issued under the Society’s own imprint, and the promotion of lecture-recital series and occasional concert performances for which the Society acts as sponsor. Society recordings are produced on three labels: the BMS main label and its subsidiary BMS Historic label, both available for general sale as well as to members (the latter at discounted rates); and the secondary Environs label, normally made available only to members.

BMS publications include an annual journal, British Music, and four quarterly newsletters, News, which are distributed to all members as part of their membership. Other publications include individual monographs and occasional books, also available to members at discounted rates and to the general public. The Society’s principal live-music activity has been its biennial BMS Awards competition, open to young musicians studying at one of the eight major British music colleges and devoted to promoting performances of rarely heard British music.

All enquiries about Society membership should be made to the Treasurer, Stephen Trowell, using the contact details given above.


backwards-arrowreturn to British Composer organisations page