Arthur Bliss

ABOUT US

Founded in 1986 under the guidance of Lady Bliss
Registered charity number 297956

Objectives
To promote wider understanding and appreciation of the music of Arthur Bliss
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To promote the education and further education of students of composition and young composers

Activities by means of which these objectives are currently fulfilled
Encouraging the performance and broadcast of the works of Arthur Bliss through the provision of (modest) grants
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Initiating and encouraging recordings of the music, particularly previously unrecorded music, and assisting with funding as appropriate
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Encouraging music students within British conservatoires to perform the music and awarding prizes accordingly
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Tracing and collecting the manuscripts, photographs, letters, other writings, documents and memorabilia relevant to Arthur Bliss for the archive, held for the most part at the Cambridge University Library
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Providing assistance and guidance to those involved in research into the life and work of Arthur Bliss, whether for the purpose of personal study or with a view to publishing their work
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Awarding the Arthur Bliss Prize for composition at Cambridge University
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Cooperating with the Performing Right Society Foundation in the Bliss Trust and PRSF Composer Bursaries for composers seeking funds to assist their professional development in the field of classical music. For full details and information about applications, see the relevant page on the PRS web site

Contact Address: The Administrator, The Bliss Trust, P O Box 137, Shaftesbury, SP7 OWX

Trustees: Richard Andrewes, Andrew Burn, Giles Easterbrook, Sarah Faulder, Lewis Foreman, Barbara Gatehouse, Clive Marks, Robert Milnes, Anna Pensaert, Karen Sellick, Elizabeth Travis
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PRIZES

  Bliss Award and Prize winners
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Royal Academy of Music
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1989 Hilary Clarke mezzo-soprano
Simon Over piano
Seven American Poems
AND
Nicos Zarb viola
Andrew Rapps piano
Viola Sontata
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1990 David Toon oboe
Hellier Quartet Oboe Quartet
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1991 Emma Garlick mezzo-soprano
Carol Foulkes soprano
Caz Weller soprano
Manson Ensemble
Rout, Women of Yueh, Conversations, Madam Noy
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1997 Daniel Howard baritone
Anna Tilbrook accompanist
Seven American poems
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1999 Christopher Dixon baritone
Juliet Allen accompanist
Fair is my love; In praise of his Daphnis; The buckle
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2001 Sara Troback, Darius Thompson,
Michelle Bruil
and Filipe Quaresma string quartet
2nd String quartet
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2002 Yan Wang violin
David Smith accompanist
Violin concerto, 1st movement
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2003 Anja Rossau soprano
Elspeth Wilkes accompanist
3 Songs (W.H. Davies) & Ballads of the four seasons
AND
Philip Kay baritone
Sergey Rybin accompanist
7 American poems
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2004 Elisabeth Toye
Sarah Dacey
Jenny Bacon

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2005

Pedro Meireles viola
Wei-En Hsu piano
Viola sonata
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2006 Julian Bliss clarinet
with the Galitzen Quartet:
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violin
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violin
spacerFelix Tanner
viola
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cello
Clarinet quintet
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2007 Jing Yang viola
Timothy End piano
Viola sonata
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2008 Lena Zeliszewska violin
Tabitha Kelly piano
Violin concerto, 1st movement ; Subito / Lutoslawski
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  Royal College of Music
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1974 Roger Chase
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1975 Yitkin Seow
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1976 Jonathan Butcher
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1979 John Lyons bassoon
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1980 Hilary Prince singer
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  PRS Sir Arthur Bliss Memorial Scholarship
for one-year postgraduate course in composition
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1982 Javier Alvarez
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1983 Timothy Stevenson and Christopher Ross
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1984 Claire Baughan
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1985 Peter Muir
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1986 Timothy Blinko
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1987 Christopher James
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1988 Edward Knight
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1990 John Cooney (Julian Anderson - not taken up)
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1991 Kenneth Hesketh
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1992 Franciso Lara
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1993 Barnaby Oliver
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1995 Andrew Pearce
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1997 Bryan Byrne
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1999 Claire Jordan
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2001 Dai Fujikura
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2003 Michael McEvoy
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2005 Satoko Doi
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2007 Pedro Faria Gomes
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  Bliss Trust Prize (awarded 1990-1997)
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1990 Verity Butler clarinet
Claire Ashby
violin
Daisy Jopling
violin
Julia Knight
viola
Emma-Jane Murphy
cello
Clarinet quintet
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1991 Maria Vassiliou soprano
Verity Butler
clarinet
John Wills
piano
Three songs, Two nursery rhymes
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1993 Nicola Hazelwood clarinet
Thomas Cooper
piano
Pastoral
AND
Melanie Spanswick piano
Bliss: a one step and Rout trot
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1996 John Kersey piano
Piano Sonata
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1997 Balint Szekely
Laura Samuel
Daniel Gardner
Miriam Eisele

string quartet
AND
Miriam Eisele cello
Stephen Ridley accompanist
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  Bliss Trust Scholarship (awarded 2005-)
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2005 James Southall piano accompaniment
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2006 Alice Gledhill clarinet
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2007 David Milner-Pearce baritone
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2008 Fraser Kelman oboe
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2009 Kitty Whately, mezzo soprano
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  Royal Northern College of Music
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1997 Rachel Joyce soprano
Caroline Jaya accompanist
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1998 Yan Lim piano
Sonata for piano
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2000 Benjamin Errlington viola
Yam Lim
piano
Viola sonata
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  Cambridge University
awarded to the best candidate in the composition papers for either the M.Phil or Part II of the Music Tripos
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1993 Thomas Ades
King's College
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1994 Kate Romano
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1997 Nicholas Whitehead
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1998 Russel Millard
St. Catharine's College
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1999 Benjamin Harris
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2000 James Weeks
Queens' College
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2002 Cheryl Frances-Hoad
Gonville & Caius College
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2003 Joseph Finlay
Clare College
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2004 Geoffrey Paterson
St. John's College
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2005 Tristan Rhys William
Trinity College
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2006 Sasha Siem
Girton College
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2008 Alex Soares
Clare College
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2009

JOINT WINNERS
Mateusz Borowiak

Girton College
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James Long
King's College
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For over half a century from the 1920s Arthur Bliss was at the centre of the musical stage: composer of the front rank, conductor, analyst, broadcaster, administrator, reviewer, teacher, lecturer, occasional pianist, roving ambassador for British music worldwide and inspiration to three generations of composers. Throughout a fascinating life and artistic period he also wrote penetratingly and entertainingly for a host of magazines and other publications.
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In 1991 the scholar Gregory Roscow published an extensive, carefully selected anthology of these writings, copiously illustrated and arranged with illuminating biographical links, with the title Bliss on Music (OUP).
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Alas, now out of print, a limited supply of this invaluable source book is still available from the Bliss Trust. While stocks last you can obtain a copy simply by sending your cheque for £10 (includes p & p within the UK) to "The Bliss Trust" with your name and address to: The Administrator, P O BOX 137, Shaftesbury, SP7 0WX.
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Please allow 28 days for delivery.
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Click top right of the box to close.

BIOGRAPHY

Sir Arthur Bliss studied music at Cambridge under Charles Wood and at the Royal College of Music in the company of other brilliant students including Herbert Howells, Ivor Gurney and Eugene Goosens. His musical studies were interrupted by the outbreak of the First World War in which he gave distinguished service but was also wounded in the Battle of the Somme and gassed at Cambrai. The tragic death in battle of his brother, Kennard, together with his own war experiences had a profound and lasting impact on his life and in his music, and found expression most particularly in his choral symphony, Morning Heroes (1930).

After the war Bliss established himself as a composer on the London scene before moving to the USA in the early 1920s to accompany his American father who had retired there. In California he met Gertude Hoffmann, whom he married and brought back to London in 1925. They had two daughters, Barbara and Karen.

In the meantime Bliss the composer continued to flourish, being commissioned to write the cinema's first great film score with the music for Alexander Korda's film of H.G. Wells' Things to come (1935).

In 1941 he became director of music at the BBC, where he established programmes such as "This Week's Composer", still enjoyed today in a similar form. Following his knighthood in 1950 he was appointed Master of the Queen's Musick. In this capacity he composed numerous works and fanfares for royal occasions including the Investiture of the Prince of Wales (1969). He continued composing up until his death at the age of 83.

Arthur Bliss was a prolific and versatile composer and he wrote over 140 works for every combination of voice and instrument, including large scale orchestral and choral works, music for brass bands, chamber instrumental music, songs, operas, ballets and film music. He even found time to indulge his passion for literature and wrote many articles on musical issues which are now collected together in Bliss on Music.

Bliss's autobiography As I remember, provides a rich insight into his character, his life and his work.

NEWS

PRESS RELEASES
The 2013 Bliss Trust Scholarships for Study in the USA have been awarded to Christopher Garrard and Joel Rust.

Scholarship for Study in the USA
Application Form. Download
Terms and Conditions. Download

Applications are now invited for the 2014 Scholarship, worth up to £5000, for a composer or student of composition wishing to develop his or her career in the USA, either at a conservatoire or university or through a period of private study with a particular composer.

Applicants must have a recommendation to apply from a composer or teacher of composition or a person of similar standing and should be British or a UK resident. Applications will be considered on their own merits. Applications must be made on a form available from the Bliss Trust (either download from the link above or by post)

The closing date for applications is 14 February 2014.

Interviews for shortlisted candidates will take place in the week commencing 10 March 2014. If for any reason applicants cannot hold themselves available for that week they should explain the reason for this and make their availability known in their application.

The Bliss Trust, set up under the guidance of Lady Bliss, has just marked its 27th Anniversary and since its instigation has encouraged and assisted with funding for more than 90 performances and 20 recordings of Bliss’s music, in addition to encouraging music students by awarding prizes for both performance and composition, encouraging and assisting with publications such as Bliss On Music, the Bliss Organ Album and the reprint of As I Remember. This period has also seen the development of the Bliss Archive at Cambridge University Library and the setting up of the Arthur Bliss Society.
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Forthcoming performances
Please see the Bliss Society web pages.

Have you joined the Arthur Bliss Society? Get regular newsletters and help spread appreciation of Bliss music. For details and subscription rates see their web site at: http://www.arthurbliss.org.

CONTACT US

The Administrator,
The Bliss Trust,
P O Box 137,
Shaftesbury SP7 OWX

enquiries@blisstrust.org

RECORDINGS

Text to come

 

MUSIC

The Bliss Trust website was designed and produced by sprout.uk.com
Music and Recordings pages courtesy of Cambridge University Library.