George Lloyd Society Newsletter May 2019

George Lloyd Society Newsletter May 2019


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The George Lloyd Society Newsletter May 2019  


Greetings from the George Lloyd Society. 

In this issue:   

  • Lady Hamilton's violin.

  • Gothic horror from Saxony.

  • An extended re-appraisal of George Lloyd's life and music as tonality returns to respectability

  • A call for biographical material.   


 Dear Subscribers, 

I am very pleased to be able to tell you that the response to our last Newsletter (January 2019) was very positive – so much so that it has taken me quite a while to work through the responses with proper replies. I am also pleased to say that my health has taken a turn for the better, and thanks to treatment by our excellent NHS, and assistance from my dear wife Alison, I am more-or-less back in the saddle. 

This Newsletter coincides with our first serious foray into digital marketing on social media and classical music forums, and by the time you receive this, we will have started to build a network of friends and followers to help raise awareness of George Lloyd’s life and work. We have many good stories to tell, starting with the story of Lady Hamilton's violin, (see below) which will be presented regularly on social media, and in summary form in occasional Newsletters.

We are pleased to announce the publication of an extended article about George Lloyd by musicologist and concert programmer Peter Davison, who examines the composer's life and work in unprecedented depth. The Swing of the Pendulum - George Lloyd and the crisis of Romanticism was published on May 3rd by Music Web International, and is also available as a free download from the George Lloyd Society website. Further details below. 

We plan to develop our social media page over the coming four months and I would be most grateful if subscribers who are active on Facebook, Twitter, or classical music forums, and who see our posts, would please share them as widely as you can, and encourage your friends to subscribe to our Newsletter by visiting

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Thanks, and best wishes,

William Lloyd



The George Lloyd Society Newsletter May 2019 



NEWS FROM THE NORTH  - George Lloyd and Lady Hamilton’s Violin.

A violin believed to have belonged Lady Emma Hamilton 
has been discovered in Kendal, Cumbria.  

Can you help solve a mystery?

Lady Emma Hamilton (1765 - 1815) had a truly extraordinary life. The daughter of a Welsh blacksmith, she rose to keep company with the highest in the land, married a Lord, was mistress of Lord Nelson, England’s greatest hero and celebrity, but was ostracised after Nelson’s death and died in poverty in France, hounded by her creditors.

Emma was known as a great beauty, and an experienced dancer. She was certainly an accomplished musician - a fine operatic singer and proficient at the harp. Elisabeth-Louise Le Brun painted her playing the tambourine, Joshua Reynolds painted her at the keyboard, and George Stubbs made a drawing of her playing the cymbals and another playing the lyre.  It is known that her husband, Sir William Hamilton, was a particularly good violin player, and there is a painting of him playing chamber music with Mozart in Naples. It now appears that Emma herself may also have been a violinist.

Emma Hamilton as Circe



The violin in question, believed to be made by John Betts in about 1800, belonged to the English composer George Lloyd (1913 – 1998). It was purchased for him at the age of 16, when he was taken on as a pupil by England’s leading violinist, Albert Sammons, (famous for the first recording of the Elgar violin concerto.)

              Betts Front    Scroll to crop    Betts Back

George Lloyd's Lady Hamilton violin, made by John Betts

The violin itself has been appraised by various experts and dealers since George Lloyd acquired it in 1929 and although not signed, the attribution to John Betts has been confirmed as reasonable. 

With the John Betts violin came a letter, written by someone calling herself ‘Black Auntie’ The letter tracks the path by which the violin came into her hands, and states that it was given to her father by a John Tanner, who was grandson of Lady Emma Hamilton’s butler, a Mr Jefferies, who had married Lady Hamilton’s maid, and ‘between them they were given a good many things.’ 

The letter of course is not proof of anything, and The George Lloyd Society is now appealing for information about Mr Jefferies the butler and Mrs Jefferies the lady's maid, in order to try to verify the story. The letter from Black Auntie states that the Jefferies came from Brighton or Hove, where they were ‘house agents’ and 'news agents' with a shop, called Jeffries and North, and where Mrs Jefferies had a hat shop. 

 Emma Hamilton Letter p1 Emma Hamilton Letter p2   Emma Hamilton Envelope

 The letter from 'Black Auntie' to Miss Combes.  

Any information which sheds light on this mystery will be much appreciated:

  • Did Lady Hamilton play the violin?
  • Did she have a butler and maid called Mr & Mrs Jefferies, who came from Brighton?
  • Did the Jefferies have a grandson called John Tanner?
  • Who is Black Auntie? Does anyone know of her niece, Miss Combes?
  • Was the violin made by John Betts?

All information gratefully received....please contact us here:

Contact Us

The Newsletter has the essentials of the story,
but for more background about Emma Hamilton, John Betts,
and how George Lloyd acquired the violin,
please download the full story and background information

pdfLady Hamilton's Violin - the Story so far


Future newsletters will let you know of any developments and any information received. 

 Subscribe here to comment or to receive updates.




The George Lloyd Society Newsletter May 2019 


Time to think again - George Lloyd reappraised. 

The Swing of the Pendulum  
George Lloyd and the crisis of Romanticism

Musicologist Peter Davison reassesses George Lloyd’s significance in the history of British Music

The composer George Lloyd (1913-98) was for many years an 'outsider', his reputation damaged by the pendulum’s swing away from Romanticism towards extreme forms of Modernism.  In this extended article (15,000 words), musicologist Peter Davison, (previously Artistic Consultant to Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall) charts the conflict between Romanticism and Modernism, explaining how modernist orthodoxy triumphed after the Second World War.
 GLL in Orchestra  Pit    With the re-emergence of tonality and tuneful composition in our own times, this is the right moment to re-evaluate the remarkable life and work of George Lloyd, treating him as a pivotal cultural figure. Davison concludes: "I discovered a man of thoughtful integrity, a modest man of great talent, someone who was determined to be himself regardless of the pressures placed upon him. His success late in life was richly deserved, and his music shows that a romantic outlook can still be relevant in the contemporary world.”

To download the article: click here: 
The Swing of The Pendulum pdfDownload PDF File

For the Press Notice, and further information,
go to our Downloads Page. 

We would be most grateful if you could please forward this newsletter and/or the article to anyone who may be interested, as we are naturally keen to get this as widely distributed as possible.

 The Swing of the Pendulum - About the author.  

 Petrer Davison  

Peter Davison was Artistic Consultant and director of the International Concert Series at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall from 1994-2018, where he created a successful high-quality classical music programme without the assistance of direct subsidy. Until 2014 he was Director of the Two Rivers FestivalHe is an internationally renowned Mahler scholar and in 2010 published Wrestling with Angels about the life and work of Gustav Mahler. He has lectured at several universities and acted as an assessor and financial analyst for the Arts Council of England and for major orchestras and concert halls. Peter Davison has an M.Phil. in Musicology from the University of Cambridge.

Full biography of Peter Davison here:  pdfAbout the Author




The George Lloyd Society  Newsletter May 2019 

Gothic horror in Germany!

Theater Magdeburg: Dracula, the Ballet,
set to George Lloyd’s 7th Symphony


The new ballet featuring music from Lloyd’s 7th Symphony, along with music by Elgar, Vaughan Williams, and Sibelius, opened at Theater Magdeburg in Saxony, on Saturday 6th April, conducted by Svetoslav Borisov and choreographed by Gonzalo Galguera. The ballet has been well reviewed as ‘completely successful’ with special praise for the music score, and it will stay in repertoire over several seasons.


Click the picture to watch the YouTube trailer featuring Lloyd’s 7th Symphony 

Magdeburg Newsletter

If your email handler has disabled active video,
you can watch in YouTube:- YouTube Trailer - click here.  

Further information: Theater Magdeburg

(Click the button top right of the Theater Magdeburg page for English translation)  



The George Lloyd Society Newsletter May 2019 


 George Lloyd - Symposium Biographycall for contributions

 Ryewater by the fire

We will shortly be writing to all known associates of George Lloyd, asking for biographical material and contributions to a symposium biography. This material could be in the form of correspondence, notes from memory, audio recordings or any convenient form. Contributors may wish to write a complete chapter, or provide material for editing. We have a list of topics and possible contributors including fellow composers, conductors, soloists, singers, orchestral players, brass band players, producers, engineers, orchestra managers, journalists, and even one or two critics!  



    The George Lloyd Society Newsletter May 2019    

George Lloyd - the untold story

Diana Taylor of Redcliffe Films has produced a 40 minute documentary film about the composer, which gives a good introduction to his roller-coaster life and his struggle against PTSD and a hostile musical establishment. The film has been shown at festivals up and down the country, and is now available on Vimeo.  

Click here: Strange Storms and Symphonies to watch the entire film on Vimeo

or watch a short YouTube trailer (2'45") below.  


If your email handler has disabled active video,
you can watch in YouTube:- YouTube Trailer - click here.  



The George Lloyd Society Newsletter May 2019 


Correction: Symphony No 4
Simon Heffer's Hinterland in The Daily Telegraph

 Heffer   Our January Newsletter provided an incorrect link to Simon Heffer’s excellent ‘Hinterland’ review of Lloyd’s Fourth Symphony, performed by the Ealing Symphony Orchestra. That link happily took you to another interesting Hinterland article about Ian Venables, a miniaturist who writes exquisite chamber music in the English style of Howells or Ireland, but just to keep things straight, here is a link to the correct text:

               Download pdfSimon Heffer Article



The George Lloyd Society Newsletter May 2019


Symphony No 4:  Easter Orchestral SocietyStudy week

 Easter Orchestra   The Easter Orchestra 2019 played through of George Lloyd's 4th Symphony - one of 28 works played. The week was a resounding success with a lot of fun had by all...including by the eight double basses, and the bass trumpet (yes, it's that kind of orchestra).  Applications are now open for their Brass Weekend, 25-27 October, Oswestry.

The George Lloyd Society Newsletter May 2019 




Fulham Brass will play George Lloyd's Diversions on a Bass Theme at St. Etheldreda's Church, Fulham Palace Road, Fulham on Sunday 12th May at 15.30.  The programme includes Philip Wilby's horn concerto, performed by guest soloist, Ailsa Russell (Cory Band) and the premiere of a new work written for the band, Steal Away.

Ealing Symphony Orchestra – Complete George Lloyd Symphony Cycle.

Conductor John Gibbons began his adventurous programming of the complete Lloyd cycle with the Ealing Symphony Orchestra performance of Symphony No 1 in January of this year.  Here he is on YouTube talking about Lloyd's music and the forthcoming cycle.

 If your email handler has disabled active video,
you can watch in YouTube:- YouTube video - click here.  

Symphony No. 2 , the next symphony in the cycle, will be performed on
Saturday 11th July 2020,
 paired with Sibelius Symphony No. 2  

Further information here:



The George Lloyd Society Newsletter  May 2019 



Rhys Concessao - National Youth Orchestra pianist -
to play the George Lloyd Piano Concerto No 4. 

We are delighted to announce a new association with 16 year old piano virtuoso Rhys Concessao.  Rhys has so many accolades and achievements to his name that we would need an entire Newsletter to list them all, but suffice to say that he has recently been awarded a place as a pianist to tour the UK and USA with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. At 14 he was chosen as Music Ambassador by the Lang Lang International Music Foundation and awarded the Sir Elton John Scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music.

After hearing Rhys play the Beethoven Piano Concerto No 1 with the Ealing Symphony Orchestra we sent him the score of the Lloyd Piano Concerto No 4, and were very pleased when he replied that he loved the work, and would like to play it.  Due to many musical commitments, including fitting in NYO tours and many concert engagements with his regular school work, he will need plenty of time to learn this demanding work, and we are looking at a concert date in 2021. Discussions are underway with an orchestra and conductor, so watch this space for confirmation! 

Rhys has a regular video blog and a busy YouTube Channel, and you can follow his progress on social media, but for a flavour of his skills, check out this spontaneous recital at Kings Cross Station at the age of 13 years old!  A wonderful combination of a natural entertainer and a great musician.  Are we looking forward to this project?  What do you think?  Click the image...

 If your email handler has disabled active video,
you can watch in YouTube:- YouTube video - click here 

For more piano thrills, check out Rhys Concessao's website HERE. 



The George Lloyd Society Newsletter May 2019 



New UK Trade Distributor

We are pleased to announce that our record label, Albany Records, has a new UK trade distributor, Heritage Records, who will stock Albany (UK) and Albany (US) titles.  Trade enquiries please contact Tim Grocutt  (info heritage-records com)

Priory Records, who have been our highly efficient and effective distributors from many years, have announced that they will be discontinuing their distribution operations, although the excellent Priory recording label will continue.  Best wishes for a happy retirement to the ever-helpful Callum Ross who has looked after Albany Records so well. Thank you Callum.



The George Lloyd Society Newsletter  May 2019  


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Benefits of subscription to the Society include: occasional Newslettersdiscounts on CDs, music hire, and access to the George Lloyd Music Library & Archive. (see below.) 

There is now no subscription fee to join the Society. To encourage new members and to thank existing subscribers we have a special CD offer

All subscribers to our Newsletter are offered 5 CDs for £10.00,
which includes post, packing and VAT.

No purchase is necessary to subscribe and you can unsubscribe when you wish.
Your email address will not be published or passed to a third party.

Simply visit our Online Shop and click the SPECIAL OFFER link, Pay by Paypal, and you will receive one each of the following CDs:


  • Requiem & Psalm 130. Exxon Singers with Stephen Wallace,
    conducted by Matthew Owens.

‘This disc will be a compulsory acquisition for any Lloyd fan, but it will also be lovingly appreciated by any admirer of the vocal music of Fauré, Rutter or Holst.’  Rob Barnett

  • A Symphonic Mass – Bournemouth SO, Brighton Festival Chorus, 
    conducted by George Lloyd

“An undoubted masterpiece in the British tradition of Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Holst, Bliss and Britten, Lloyd's latest opus is joyous, dramatic, tuneful, and quite overwhelming.”  CD Review


  • English Heritage - Black Dyke Mills Brass Band,
    conducted by David King.

“One of England's finest composers with the quintessential brass band. Lloyd is a master of the contest test piece...his music is filled with wonderful moments: dazzling yet lyrical brilliance, hushed chorales, and heart thumping bravura...a superb recording of stirring music...” 

  • 5th Symphony, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra,
    conducted by George Lloyd

“The musical language is engaging...the orchestration is colourful, often luscious...the orchestra play beautifully under the composer's direction. Lloyd writes expressively and from the heart.” 
The New York Times


  • Indomitable Spirit – 70 min. introduction to the music of George Lloyd.

12 tracks including movements from concertos, symphonies, opera, choral brass and chamber works, together with a complete catalogue.

In our next issue: 

  • Updates on the mystery of Lady Hamilton's violin....
  • Where does the music come from?
        - quill pens & keyboards (musical and digital)
  • Tales of Andrew Kazdin
        - one of the great recording producers of the 20th century. 
  • A retrospective survey of Lloyd music for brass on YouTube  
        - represented by 75 performances and over 100,000 views...  


Thank you for your continuing interest and support. We would be most grateful if you would forward this Newsletter to anyone who may be interested, and also follow our social media pages. 

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