The Herbert Howells Society

PresidentDr Stephen Cleobury CBE
ChairmanDr Martin Neary LVO
SecretaryAndrew Millinger
32 Barleycroft Road, Welwyn Garden City, Herts. AL8 6JU
01707 335315
Membership SecretaryJulian Parkin

The Herbert Howells Society was formed in 1987 at the instigation of Ursula Howells, the composer’s daughter, and is based at Westminster Abbey, where the composer’s ashes are buried. The aims of the Society are to promote the performance, publication and recording of Howells’ works.

The Society has organised and supported the publication of a number of hitherto unpublished pieces. It has sponsored a number of chamber music recordings and all the Howells canticle settings by the Collegiate Singers. The Society has sponsored the computer setting and editing of a new computer-set performing edition of Hymnus Paradisi, the two piano concerti, and has been instrumental in arranging for the Stabat Mater to be computer-set in a new edition by Stephen Cleobury prior to its recording by the Bach Choir. (This recording narrowly missed, by three votes, being named as the Gramophone Choral recording of the year, 2015.) It has commissioned the recording of all of the violin & piano music on the EMF label (sponsored by the Howells Trust) and has arranged for the second violin sonata and the early B minor sonata to be edited and published for this recording.

It has sponsored a number of chamber music recordings and all the Howells canticle settings by the Collegiate Singers. The society has arranged publication of the recently completed ’Cello Concerto, and seven solo songs. Since the composer’s death, we have ensured that virtually all his output is successfully published and recorded.

The Society is a source of information for researchers all over the world, and works with the Royal College of Music Library — which holds most of the composer’s manuscripts — in facilitating research.

The Society’s AGM has been held alternately in Westminster Abbey and in cathedrals or collegiate foundations associated with Howells, where members can hear his music in the finest liturgical settings. Every year, before or after its AGM, the Society presents an event to publicise some lesser known aspect of Howells’ music.

The committee includes the composer John Rutter, who has done much editorial work for the Society, Jonathan Clinch, Andrew Nethsingha and Andrew Lumsden.

The Society works closely with the Herbert Howells Trust, which was set up in 2008 following the death of the composer’s daughter, Ursula, in 2005.


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