The Arthur Bliss Society
President: Ian Venables
Chairman: Gerald Towell
Sir Arthur Bliss
The Arthur Bliss Society was founded in early 2003 with the aim of furthering the appreciation,
understanding and knowledge of the music of Sir Arthur Bliss (1891-1975). He was one of the most
important figures in British musical life from the early 1920s (when he was regarded as an enfant
terrible) through to his later years and his tenure of the office of Master of the Queen's Music from
1953, following Sir Arnold Bax, who had died suddenly in October of that year.
The Committee benefited greatly from the support and encouragement of the late Lady Bliss, our first
President, and then from the late George Dannatt. For the Chairman's tribute to him, and links to
press obituaries, see his page. Our Vice-Chairman, David Wilby, has written an appreciation for
We were delighted when Peter Ainsworth and Ian Venables accepted invitations to become Vice-
Presidents of the Society. Not long afterwards our Chairman had lunch with them at the House of
Commons (photograph). Following George's death, Ian was invited to become our third President
and Terry Barfoot agreed to follow Ian as a Vice-President.
We were equally delighted to welcome four distinguished musicians as the first Patrons of the
Society: Mark Bebbington, James Gilchrist, Julian Lloyd Webber and David Lloyd-Jones.
A substantial Newsletter is published twice a year, in the Spring and Autumn. A cumulative index is
also available. Non-members wishing to buy copies of this or of the Index please contact the
The website of The Bliss Trust contains biography, bibliography and discography, and we
complement this on the Society's site with active information about social and study events, current
news and comment, details of membership, how to join and how to contact us. Whilst the Bliss Trust
website is still the place to go for the complete discography, we have listed new and recent discs on
this site, as well as some new photographs. We still appeal for any non-copyright photographs that
we could show here, or copyrighted ones that we might be allowed to display.
Our Performances page is accessed by lovers of Sir Arthur's music worldwide, and we are as keen to
include notices of performances abroad as we are those in the UK. We know that far more
performances take place in other countries than we show on our performances page and we look to
our site visitors for information. We have no other regular means of knowing about concerts before
they take place.
The Enquiries page gives the opportunity to site visitors, whether members of the Society or not, to
contribute questions or comments.
We devote a page to the Charlton Kings Choral Society because of its close links with the late Lady
Bliss, initially through our Chairman. Three of our six Committee members belong to the choir, and a
fourth, John Wright, is its Conductor.
The Links page joins us to other interesting and relevant websites: please suggest any useful
additions. Please also let the webteam know of forthcoming performances of Bliss music, so that we
can publicise them here.
It’s worth searching for ‘Arthur Bliss’ on YouTube - there are hundreds of clips,
including many that are hard to find elsewhere.
All enquiries relating to copyright should be addressed to The Bliss Trust,
whose details can be found on their website.
updated on 21 April 2017
© The Arthur Bliss Society 2003-2017
Rickmansworth Road, Watford WD17 3JN
on Saturday 29 April 2017 at 7.30 pm
Watford Philharmonic Society
(conductor: Michael Cayton)
programme includes Morning Heroes