The Delius Society
Founded in 1962, the Society has the principal aim of bringing together those interested in Frederick Delius and his music. Most members are not professional or even practising musicians and join purely because of their curiosity about, or love for, the unique music of Delius.
Our President is Dr. Lionel Carley and our Vice Presidents include well-known Delius scholars and interpreters.
The Society is independent from, but works closely with, the Delius Trust.
The Delius Society Journal
The Delius Society Journal, widely regarded as one of the most authoritative and important of its kind, is published in April and October and circulated to members and to libraries throughout the world. A Newsletter is published in January and July.
From September to March, monthly meetings are held in Central London. The Midlands Branch also holds meetings.
When possible, the AGM is combined with a ‘Delius Weekend’ with recitals, talks and films.
The year 2012 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Delius. Among many celebratory projects that the Society intends to support are new recordings, publications and an international Symposium in central London.
To find out more about the Society, including how to join, please visit the Delius Society/Delius Trust website at www.delius.org.uk.
Martin Lee-Browne is the grandson of Frederic Austin (1872-1952) the celebrated baritone around the time of World War I (particularly as Mozart's Count and Wagner's Wotan), composer and musical administrator, who was one of Frederick Delius's greatest friends; he and Sir Thomas Beecham were the first musical advisers to The Delius Trust. He is best remembered for his arrangement of The Twelve Days of Christmas, and of the music for the famous production of' The Beggar's Opera in the early 1920s; his son, Richard, was the musical director of the (then) Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra before the Second World War, and for many years a Professor at The Royal College of Music - while his daughter (Martin Lee-Browne's mother) sang in The Philharmonic Choir (the predecessor of the London Philharmonic Choir) which gave a number of first performances of Delius's choral works.
Martin Lee-Browne practiced as a solicitor in Gloucestershire for 42 years, but music has always played a major part in his life. As a schoolboy, he was an occasional timpanist in Gerald Finzi's Newbury String Players and a percussion player in the Reading Symphony Orchestra; at Cambridge he played for the University Music Society Orchestra (in, among other things, the second performance of Vaughan Williams's The Pilgrim's Progress), and sang both in its Chorus and with the Cambridge University Madrigal Society under Boris Ord. He sang with Gloucester Choral Society, the Three Choirs Festival Chorus , and the London Philharmonic Choir for many years. Between 1996 and 2002 he was the Chairman of the Gloucester Three Choirs Festival, and he has been the Chairman of The Delius Society since 2008. He wrote a biography of his grandfather in 1999; now writes programme and CD liner notes, and criticisms; and he is currently working, jointly with Paul Guinery, on a major book about Delius's music, due for publication in 2013.
Roger Buckley grew up in a musical household and from an early age was encouraged to play the piano and various other instruments. At school he won music prizes and played Elgar's 'Cello Concerto with the school orchestra. He took Grade 8 examinations in organ and ’cello, and shortly afterwards qualified ATCL in organ performance. At Oxford University he read medicine, but playing in the University Orchestra, and numerous other musical activities, claimed much of his time. He went on to qualify as an eye surgeon, taking a consultant post at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, and working in private practice; he also held a Chair at City University, London, and remains a Professor of Ocular Medicine at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge.
When, as a little boy listening to the radio in the company of his father, he happened to hear a performance of The Walk to the Paradise Garden, there was a Damascene moment at which the music of Delius completed the open circuit of Roger’s musical imagination. A member of The Delius Society almost since its foundation in 1962, Roger joined the Society’s committee in 1996 as Editor of The Delius Society Journal. He was elected Chairman in June 2000 and Vice President in 2009. His interest in the songs of Delius resulted in Gloucester Three Choirs Festival recitals with Nora Sirbaugh in 1998 and Helen Withers in 2001. A tour of Denmark with Nora Sirbaugh in 2000 culminated in a recital of the Danish songs in their original settings at Holger Drachmann's house in Skagen.
Roger has written extensively on Delius and is currently studying for a doctorate with the title 'Delius’s Red Notebook: transcription and critical analysis'; this is the last of Delius’s five surviving notebooks to be subjected to academic scrutiny. He has given many talks on the music of Delius, including a pre-performance introduction to A Mass of Life at Huddersfield Town Hall in 2009.
Roger edited the autobiography of Ursula, the widow of Ralph Vaughan Williams, which was published in 2002 as 'Paradise Remembered'.
Ever since his first encounters as a schoolboy with the music of Frederick Delius (the incidental music for a production of Hassan making a deep impression) Paul Guinery has been irrevocably hooked on the extensive range of the composer’s output. He is a former vice-chairman of The Delius Society and over the years has given several illustrated lectures to members featuring rare archive material, as well as writing a series of in-depth musical analyses of major works by Delius which have been published in the Delius Society Journal. Those articles are to form the basis of a forthcoming publication intended as a comprehensive musical guide to Delius’s works, written in association with the current Chairman of the Society, Martin Lee-Browne. Paul is also the co-author, with Lyndon Jenkins, of a photographic study of visitors to Delius’s home in France.
As a pianist, Paul was a pupil of Stephen Savage at the Royal College of Music where he was awarded an ARCM. He continues to perform regularly as a soloist and accompanist, and has recently recorded a disc of music by English composers associated with Delius to be released by The Delius Society in 2012. He has also recorded with the wind quintet Harmoniemusik as their regular pianist, not only in the major works of the piano and wind repertoire but also reviving many forgotten contributions to the genre. Paul has been the resident pianist at Harmoniemusik’s summer festival in Cornwall since 1997 performing chamber music of all sorts, most recently piano concertos by Bach and Mozart.
After leaving the RCM Paul read for a degree in Modern Languages (French and Italian) at Queen’s College, Oxford, and then joined the BBC where for many years he was a well-known voice as a staff announcer and presenter on the BBC World Service and, latterly, on BBC Radio 3 for whom he hosted a wide variety of long-running programmes including Concert Hall, Your Concert Choice, Sacred and Profane and Choirworks, as well as introducing live Proms and concerts with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Singers at home and abroad. Now freelance as a broadcaster and voice-over specialist he can still be heard on the air as a radio newsreader.
To come full circle, Paul narrated a performance of Delius’s Hassan at the English Music Festival in 2010.
Lyndon Jenkins is a writer, lecturer and broadcaster on music. From 1972-1987 he wrote for The Birmingham Post before becoming a regular contributor between 1983-99 to BBC Radio 3 (‘Interpretations on Record’, ‘Record Review’, ‘Vintage Years’, ‘Mainly for Pleasure’, etc) and the BBC World Service. For the Independent Radio Network he was Classical Presenter at Mercia Sound 1980-9, BRMB 1986-9 and BBC Radio WM 1989-92 and from 2001-4 presented a weekly programme on light music for Saga Radio. He specialises in British music, British artists, and British musical history and has made radio documentaries about Sir Thomas Beecham, Sir John Barbirolli, Sir Malcolm Sargent, Yehudi Menuhin, Paul Tortelier, Maggie Teyte, Eric Fenby, the composer E J Moeran and the Glyndebourne Festival Opera among others.
He lectures widely on a range of subjects, and has written hundreds of articles for specialist magazines. He gave the first Adrian Boult Lecture in Birmingham in 1986, and was Chairman 1994-2000 of The Delius Society (founder-member 1962), visiting Delius Festivals held in Jacksonville, Florida as principal guest. A study by him of the relationship between Frederick Delius and his music’s greatest interpreter, the conductor Sir Thomas Beecham, published in 2005 by Ashgate achieved the Award for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research from the American Association for Recorded Sound (ARSC) in 2006. In 2002 he was keynote speaker at the Conference of the Guild of American Conductors in Seattle.
In mainland Europe he is especially interested in Scandinavian composers, and was the first person to broadcast a series of programmes on Danish Radio entirely in English. In 2006 he received a knighthood from H.M. The Queen of Denmark for services to Anglo-Danish Cultural Relations in the field of music. Since 1992 he has been Music Adviser to Symphony Hall Birmingham (also to Town Hall Birmingham since its reopening in 2008) where he advises on programming, interviews many of the world-famous artists appearing there, introduces concerts and arranges special events. President, Federation of Recorded Music Societies since 2009. Publications: While Spring and Summer Sang: Thomas Beecham and the Music of Frederick Delius; The Recorded Works of William Walton; The Music of Arthur Bliss on Record; Sir Adrian Boult’s Birmingham Years; The Birmingham 78s and CD booklets for EMI, Philips, Decca, Testament, Warner Classics, BBC Legends, LPO, Naxos, Danacord and the Dutton labels.