|Ian Venables||Mark Bebbington||Gerald Towell||David Salter||David Wilby|
Founded in the year 2003 with the support and encouragement of Lady Bliss, who became our first President, the Arthur Bliss Society celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.
Ian Venables became President in 2010 and Mark Bebbington, who had long been a Patron and supporter of the Arthur Bliss Society, became Vice-President in 2020. The Founder-Chairman of the Arthur Bliss Society Gerald Towell was invited to become a Vice-President in 2023.
News from the Chairman:
Tickets for the Afternoon Concert can be purchased online on the Harrogate Concert 2 page.
A Challenge for 2025 – Fifty for Fifty
The Bliss Trust and the Arthur Bliss Society are working together on a ‘50 for 50’ project for 2025 to mark the 50th anniversary of Bliss’s death. The principal element of the project is the orchestration by Philip Wilby of the Viola Sonata, so that we are able to have in 2025 a world première of a Viola Concerto, which will add to the 20th century repertoire of concerti by the likes of Walton and Bartok.
The Sonata was written in 1933 for Lionel Tertis – almost forty years later, Bliss observed in his autobiography As I Remember: “As my Sonata grew, I realised that it was rapidly becoming a concerto for the instrument, and if today I had the energy and patience I would translate the piano accompaniment into an orchestral tissue, taking care that the mellow dark sombre tone of the solo instrument was not obscured by too thick a surround”. With this approval and guidance from Bliss, Philip Wilby has found the necessary ‘energy and patience’ to complete the ‘translation’ of the Viola Sonata.
‘50 for 50’ will not just be about major projects of this nature, the underlying intention is to create as much awareness as possible of Bliss’s music, particularly amongst young performers. Look on the Concerts Page for more information about this project.
Sir Arthur Bliss – Standing out from the Crowd, the new biography by Paul Spicer, is not only informative but also described as “a good read”, giving new insights into Bliss’s music. The Society has a limited number of discounted copies of the book available only to members at £16.50 (RRP £25) plus £3.50 postage where applicable.
In Classic FM’s Great British Classics Top 100, the March from Things to Come came in at Number 53. Thank you to all those who voted for this in the poll and to Caroline Secombe, Bliss’s granddaughter, in particular for coming up with the idea of encouraging members of the Arthur Bliss Society to vote. I must confess that, by the time the playlist had reached Number 60 on Coronation Bank Holiday Monday without any Bliss being played, I decided that it must be time to take the dog out for a walk in the rain only to return to hear the March being played. I really do hope that this result will mean that Bliss is introduced to fresh audiences.