History

History

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 (2023).  George Dannatt, chartered surveyor, music critic and artist, was a great family friend of the Blisses and served as Vice-President for many years before succeeding Lady Bliss as President in November 2008. His advice was always much appreciated by the Committee. 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.

Patrons of the Society are musicians James Gilchrist, Julian Lloyd Webber, Rebeca Omordia and Anna Lapwood, composer Philip Wilby and musicologist/composer Robert Matthew-Walker.

Founder-Chairman Gerald Towell first met Lady Bliss at a Cheltenham CBSO concert in 1976 and there followed a firm friendship which, after many years and with the support of the Bliss Trust, led to an invitation to Gerald to form a society to promote music of Arthur Bliss.

  President Vice-President Vice-President Chairman Vice-Chairman
2003 Lady Bliss George Dannatt   Gerald Towell  
2004 Lady Bliss George Dannatt   Gerald Towell  
2005 Lady Bliss George Dannatt   Gerald Towell  
2006 Lady Bliss George Dannatt   Gerald Towell  
2007 Lady Bliss George Dannatt   Gerald Towell  
2008 Lady Bliss George Dannatt   Gerald Towell  
2009 George Dannatt Peter Ainsworth   Gerald Towell David Wilby
2010 Ian Venables Peter Ainsworth   Gerald Towell David Wilby
2011 Ian Venables Peter Ainsworth   Gerald Towell David Wilby
2012 Ian Venables Peter Ainsworth   Gerald Towell David Wilby
2013 Ian Venables Peter Ainsworth   Gerald Towell David Wilby
2014 Ian Venables Peter Ainsworth Terry Barfoot Gerald Towell David Wilby
2015 Ian Venables Peter Ainsworth Terry Barfoot Gerald Towell David Wilby
2016 Ian Venables Peter Ainsworth Terry Barfoot Gerald Towell David Wilby
2017 Ian Venables Peter Ainsworth Terry Barfoot Gerald Towell David Wilby
2018 Ian Venables Peter Ainsworth Terry Barfoot David Wilby  
2019 Ian Venables Peter Ainsworth Terry Barfoot David Wilby  
2020 Ian Venables Mark Bebbington   David Wilby  
2021 Ian Venables Mark Bebbington   David Salter David Wilby
2022 Ian Venables Mark Bebbington   David Salter David Wilby
2023 Ian Venables Mark Bebbington Gerald Towell David Salter David Wilby