For the first time in the Society’s history, members at this year’s AGM attended both face to face (pictured below) and on a zoom platform (pictured above). We all enjoyed the opportunity to mix with members of The Arthur Bliss Society and I would like to thank their Chairman David Salter for organising the delicious lunch and interesting programme of afternoon events. 

Paul Spicer whetted our appetite for his new book Sir Arthur Bliss: Standing Out from the Crowd due for imminent release, and this was followed by a short concert of British music performed by violinist Chu-Yu Yang and the Oxford-based pianist Eric McElroy; Yang is a young, dynamic performer who is also Artistic Director of a new British Music Festival in Taiwan. 

Caroline Secombe, granddaughter of Bliss, was seated in the audience, as was Ian Venables who acknowledged the applause after the UK premiere of his Sonata for Violin and Piano, op. 23. Listeners were treated to a rare performance of an 11 minute Violin Sonata by the young Bliss composed while he fought in the trenches of WW1, before a short, lively ‘Moto Perpetuo’ by Malcolm Arnold concluded the recital. Other composers represented in the programme showcased the talents of Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Finzi and Gurney. 

This was a splendid afternoon in great company that made the trip to Birmingham definitely worthwhile.

Written by Wendy Hiscocks