The Stanford Society was formed by a small international group of English music enthusiasts to promote greater interest in Stanford’s life and music and to encourage and support increased performances and recordings of his compositions. The Society was officially launched at a Stanford Celebration Weekend held in Cambridge, England in March 2007.
Following his death in 1924 Stanford’s music fell into a period of neglect. Apart from his music for the Anglican Church and a small number of songs, it was largely unheard for more than 60 years. There were certain notable exceptions. Three of the Songs of the Sea were included in the first-ever BBC broadcast of a Henry Wood Promenade concert in August 1927.
In 2002, the 150th anniversary of Stanford’s birth was celebrated with the publication of major biographies by Professor Jeremy Dibble (Oxford) and Dr. Paul Rodmell (Ashgate). These were the first biographies to appear since Harry Plunket Greene’s pioneering volume in 1935. For the first time, a fuller and more balanced picture emerged of Stanford’s life and of his contribution to the history of English music.
The Stanford Society is following in the footsteps of the various societies and trusts formed to promote interest in the life and music of a number of Stanford’s contemporaries and students. The Society’s goals include holding an annual Celebration Weekend which will include performances of Stanford’s music and talks on his life. These gatherings have so far taken place in Cambridge, London, Oxford and Dublin. We also plan to publish an annual newsletter and to encourage and support recordings of his lesser-known music.
Aims of the Society
The Society has been formed to further the appreciation, understanding and knowledge of Sir Charles Villiers Stanford’s life and music and of his contribution to the history and development of English music.
The formal aims of the Society are:
- To substantially widen the knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the music of Charles
- Villiers Stanford both in the United Kingdom and overseas.
- To encourage performances of Stanford’s music and the music of his students and colleagues at the Royal College of Music and Cambridge University.
- To increase understanding of Stanford’s life and music and of his contribution to the development and history of British music.
- To encourage and support recordings of Stanford’s music.
- To provide members of the Society with an opportunity to share their love of English music
and to develop their knowledge of the life and music of Charles Villiers Stanford and of his impact on the history of English music.