2019 / 2020 Season

Programme dates and topics are subject to change. Always check this site for updates before travelling.

13 Sep, 2019 Rachmaninov revisited

Continuing the theme of his programme last year, JOHN COTTRELL offers another appreciation of the music of Sergei Rachmaninov, paying particular attention to his piano and chamber works. Rachmaninov was regarded as one of the world’s great pianists and his compositions reflect his mastery of the instrument. The evening will also include a broad review of some other styles of music from this fascinating artist.

27 Sep, 2019 A personal selection

The rationale chosen by CHRIS COAKES when selecting music for his talk this evening was to aim for pieces that have either not been heard for some time, or possibly have never been played at our society. Members can expect works by three lesser known composers, a snatch of Wagner, two Italian pieces, and a well-known symphony in its entirety.

11 Oct, 2019 Richard Baker

Richard Baker, who died in November 2018 at the age of 93, was an enthusiastic supporter of classical music in addition to his career as a leading BBC newsreader. His first job was presenting classical music on the BBC Third Programme, and for many years he presented the annual live broadcast from the Last Night of the Proms. JIRINA (Georgette) MILLER will celebrate Richard Baker's long career in music with an evening of wonderful melodies, musicians and memories.

Note that the next meeting is on the following Friday

18 Oct, 2019 A French connection

Having already decided that her talk this year should be focused on French music, unexpected circumstances led DIANA TIZZARD into the music of Lennox Berkeley, who was not only of French ancestry and bilingual, but also a lifelong friend of Francis Poulenc. They both trained under Nadia Boulanger in Paris and were also contemporaries of Jacques Ibert, a fellow student. This evening will explore some of their piano music, songs, chamber music and concertos - all written during the first half of the 20th century.

 1 Nov, 2019 Triskaidekaphobes beware!

For his thirteenth presentation to the Society, NORMAN AMEY has selected thirteen pieces of music, each of which in some way relates to the number 13, its factors or its multiples. Contributors ranging from Beethoven to Beiderbecke, from Schubert to Schoenberg, should provide a varied and, for some perhaps, fearsome programme. Keep your fingers crossed!

15 Nov, 2019 The Democracy of Kings

SRMS President MICHAEL JAMESON has taken the title for this evening’s presentation from Clemens Hellsberg’s 1992 book, “Demokratie der Könige”, the authorised history of the Vienna Philharmonic. Hellsberg was the former president of the orchestra (and previously a member of its First Violin section). With its matchless historical traditions and unrivalled associations with countless great composers and stellar conductors, the Wiener Philharmoniker continues to occupy a supreme position amongst the world’s great orchestras. Its unique playing style can be readily appreciated from its vast discography, which stretches back to the dawn of the era of sound recording. An extra charge of £1 is payable for this meeting.

Note that there is a 3 week gap before the next meeting

6 Dec, 2019 High definition

In addition to SACD audio recordings, SRMS Chairman DAVID ANDERSON is always on the lookout for the best quality high definition Blu-ray video recordings he can find for playing to the society. This is normally the only regular programme in our season that features the use of a digital projector to present Blu-ray extracts on a large screen.

Note that the next meeting is on the following Friday

13 Dec, 2019 Christmas social evening

As usual, this social event follows the pattern of an ‘American Supper’ (i.e. everyone brings a contribution to the food and drink). The first half of the evening will be devoted to an entertaining musical quiz compiled by our previous Chairman, Roy Gage (now Chairman Emeritus). It always brings the year to a very enjoyable conclusion.

Note that there is a 4 week gap before the next meeting

10 Jan, 2020 A tribute to Jim Nicol

Jim Nicol died aged 90 in early 2019. For many years, Jim was SRMS Vice Chairman and made a significant contribution to our society. His diverse interests in music and the arts was reflected in a house filled with books, scores and recorded music, as well as many pictures. Tonight, SRMS Treasurer DAVID PEARCE will present a selection of Russian music taken entirely from Jim’s collection as a tribute to our late member. There will be some familiar music and some guaranteed to have never been heard before, so do come and be prepared to be surprised!

24 Jan, 2020 Random encounters

SRMS Secretary ANN MATTHEWS has no particular theme for tonight's talk. Her music selections will simply be based on pieces that have attracted her attention over the years. Ann has a broad range of musical interests, which is likely to ensure a mixture of both familiar and unusual pieces.

 7 Feb, 2020 André Previn

Previn's family moved from Berlin to Los Angeles in 1938 and, while still at school, André became a part time composer, conductor and arranger at MGM studios. Previn’s early musical life will be touched upon by SRMS Vice Chairman CHRIS TOPLEY tonight, though he will be concentrating more on Previn's conducting and classical composing years. Some critically acclaimed recordings will be featured.

21 Feb, 2020 Benjamin Britten

SRMS Vice-President TERRY BARFOOT is a well-known music writer and lecturer in the south of England. With his own company, Arts in Residence, he promotes musical events at agreeable locations throughout the UK and in Europe. Terry is also Publications Consultant to the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. His subject tonight is the composer Benjamin Britten. An extra charge of £1 is payable for this meeting.

 6 Mar, 2020 A musical odyssey

Chairman Emeritus ROY GAGE plans to take us on a journey around the world in search of those pieces of music that have tickled his taste buds over the years. From past experience, we can be sure that his choices will be well worth a listen.

20 Mar, 2020 It will be all right on the night...

Guest speaker Peter Avis returns to Southampton with tales of how things have not always gone as smoothly as expected at concerts and recording sessions with which he has been involved over the years, including a collapsing singer at the Proms, a Welsh choir caught at the Severn Crossing on its way to the Fairfield Halls (where Peter was once a house manager) and unusual events backstage at the Royal Opera House.

 3 Apr, 2020 Four French ladies

JILL MEAGER will give a programme featuring the music of Louise Farrenc, Cecile Chaminade, Lili Boulanger and Germaine Tailleferre. This is an opportunity for Jill to indulge in her love of French music and also to champion the cause of women in music. There are so many excellent female composers who have been sadly neglected, so she hopes that this evening will redress the balance a little.

17 Apr, 2020 Slaying the dragon

St George has always seemed an odd choice of patron saint, as he was born in what is now Turkey and never bothered to visit England. His fabled slaying of a dragon even took place in the ancient city of Silene (in Libya) rather than the more obvious choices of Southampton or Skegness. However, JOHN FAWCETT’s talk this year falls very close to St George's Day, which gives him a convenient excuse to present a programme of mainly English music. In a spirit of post Brexit magnanimity (if we are post Brexit), John will allow a few continental composers to also make an appearance. After all, we don't want Europe feeling too cut adrift...

 1 May, 2020 The history of ballet

With its origins in the courts of Renaissance Italy, ballet developed into a serious art form after Louis XIV founded the first professional ballet school in Paris in 1661. Tonight, our guide through the history of ballet is BRIDGETT VANE, who trained as a dancer and dance teacher, and has been professionally immersed in theatre arts throughout her life. Bridgett plans to include both French and Russian ballet music, with Diaghilev's Ballet Russes deserving special attention.

15 May, 2020 Heading north

The climate, landscapes, nature and legends of countries at latitudes above 60° north have provided a great deal of musical inspiration. This talk by Dr MARTIN GROSSEL will explore music by both well-known and unfamiliar composers from the Nordic countries, giving an insight into their environment and culture. Nielsen, Sibelius, Rautavarra, Leifs, Alfven, Stenhammar, Kraus and Berwald are among the composers likely to be featured tonight.

Note that there is a 3 week gap before the next meeting

 5 Jun, 2020 Constant Lambert

Constant Lambert showed extraordinary musical gifts from an early age and was only 20 when he was commissioned to write a ballet for Diaghilev. From the age of 26 he was conductor and music director of the Vic-Wells ballet (later the Royal Ballet), but he died tragically early at the age of 45 from pneumonia complicated by diabetes and alcoholism. As a result, his musical output is relatively small, but contains some real gems that guest speaker DAVID DUNSTAN thinks are well worth hearing.

19 Jun, 2020 Time out - music with different time signatures

Tonight, JOHN WARREN plans to investigate the weird and wonderful world of odd time signatures and syncopated rhythms. His selections will include some examples from jazz, film music and the stage (he is even threatening to include some harpsichord music). Time will tell if John will once again illustrate his discourse with visual aids constructed from the cardboard cores of toilet rolls...

 3 Jul, 2020 Annual General Meeting

All members are asked to make their best efforts to attend the Annual General Meeting. Important decisions are made and votes taken which can fundamentally affect the future operation of the Society.


With the exception of Peter Avis, Terry Barfoot, David Dunstan and Michael Jameson, all presenters are current members of Southampton Recorded Music Society