British Music Society
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.
The British Music Society currently has over 600 members worldwide. It was granted charitable status (Charity Number 1043838) in 1995.