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Welcome to the webpages 

of the

Sir George Dyson Trust

The Sir George Dyson Trust was established in 1998, with the composer's daughter, Alice Dyson, as chairman.  Other trust members are Judith Dyson, Sandrey Date, James Eggleston, Ray Siese, and Lewis Foreman (administrator).  Paul Spicer was appointed adviser to the Trust in 2008. The Trust's declared purpose is to advance the education of the public in the understanding and appreciation of music of the late Sir George Dyson and by making available his manuscripts, writings, scores, drafts and memoranda for the encouragement of the study of his work.
Enquiries should be addressed to the administrator:
Lewis Foreman, 22 Pheasants Way, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, WD3 2ES, UK

Sir George Dyson, composer, teacher, organist and administrator  was born in Halifax, Yorkshire, England in 1883.  He spent four years (1904-8) in Italy and Germany on a Mendelssohn Scholarship before embarking on his career as music master at a succession of public schools, including Rugby, Wellington and Winchester.  He taught at the Royal College of Music (where he had been a student under Stanford) before becoming in 1937 the College's director, a post he retained until 1952.  He died at Winchester in 1964.
For a  comprehensive biography, click here
Dyson's Delight
A 200-page anthology of Sir George Dyson's wide-ranging writings and talks on music, selected, edited and introduced by Christopher Palmer.
Available from Price £12.50
George Dyson: Man and Music
A study written in 1983 as a centenary appreciation. It was published in 1996 shortly after the untimely death of the author, Christopher Palmer.  A shrewd and well-informed study of the man and his music.
Available from Price £9.95

              Click here for a complete list.
Holdings of sets of Dyson's music in public libraries are listed on the ENCORE website.
Sets belonging to the Dyson Trust are administered by Bournemouth Music Library.  Enquiries, please telephone 01202 454845, email 
The titles held are:
The Blacksmiths - 80 copies
The Canterbury Pilgrims - 95 copies
St Paul's Voyage to Melita - 111 copies
Sir George Dyson's music is also available from the publishers listed below.
A number of unknown or lost works can be found at the end of the complete list of Dyson's compositions. The Trustees would be very pleased to hear from anyone who might be able to shed light on any of them.  Please contact the Adminstrator, Lewis Foreman.

Click here for a complete list.

Oxford University Press
Evening Service in C Minor for sale +44(0)1865 556767
The Canterbury Pilgrims on hire +44(0)1865 353699
The Canterbury Pilgrims
(orch. suite, arr. Palmer)
on hire 
At the Tabard Inn (overture) on hire 
In Honour of the City (chorus,orch.) on hire 
Evening Service in D for sale +44(0)20 8343 3303
Morning Service in D for sale 
Te Deum Laudamus for sale 
Novello (Music Sales Ltd)
Symphony in G on hire +44 (0)1284 705705
Symphony in G (study score) for sale +44 (0)20 7434 0066
Violin Concerto on hire 
Violin Concerto (study score) for sale 
Prelude, Fantasy and Chaconne ('cello and orchestra) on hire 
Concerto Leggiero
(piano and strings)
on hire 
Concerto da Camera (strings) on hire 
Concerto da Chiesa (strings) on hire 
Quo Vadis on hire
Nebuchadnezzar on hire 
Sweet Thames Run Softly on hire 
Agincourt on hire 
Hierusalem on hire 
There are also 3 organ works and 15 short vocal works for sale as well as several shorter works for chorus on hire.
Thames Publishing
A Christmas Garland for sale +44(0)1603 721302
A Spring Garland for sale 
To Music for sale 
The Canterbury Pilgrims 
(choral suite)
for sale 
The Wife of Bath (soprano solo) for sale 
Three Rhapsodies (string quartet) for sale 
Children's Suite (orchestra) on hire +44(0)1216 225200

Click here for a complete list.

Latest Releases:
Priory Recordings
PRCD 1029 - Great European Organs, No.80

Recorded in Hereford Cathedral
 on 31 March and 1 April 2009
Front Cover: 
The Organ of Hereford Cathedral.
Variations on Old Psalm Tunes for Organ, Books 1 and 2

Great European Organs No.80. Peter Dyke plays the Organ of Hereford Cathedral.

One of the UK's favourite organs is heard here in a recital of English music.  The main work is a stunning transcription by Peter Dyke of Elgar's Enigma Variations using the full colours of the organ.

Total playing time - 77:25

Variations on Old Psalm Tunes, Book 1 : 
Forth in thy name
George Dyson (3:21)
2. Book 1: O Lord turn not away Dyson (2:44)
3. Book 1: By the waters of Babylon Dyson (3:28)
4. Book 1: God moves in a mysterious way Dyson (3:05)
5. Book 2: O God my strength Dyson (4:08)
6. Book 2: O for a heart to praise Dyson (4:27)
7. Book 2; O God of truth Dyson (4:27)
8. Book 2: Love of the Father Dyson (3:53)
Chorale Prelude on a theme by Tallis
Harold Darke (6:48)
10. A Wedding Prelude Peter Dyke (3:01)
11. Variations on an Original Theme (Enigma) Elgar (36:27)
Dutton Digital Epoch CDLX7201

Cecil Armstrong Gibbs ODYSSEUS
& George Dyson

Odysseus: Symphony in four movements (1937-8) for soprano and baritone soli, mixed chorus and orchestra (words by Mordaunt Currie)

Susan Gritton (soprano)
Mark Stone (baritone)

Four Songs for Sailors (1948) for chorus, strings, brass and timpani
David Drummond (conductor)

Recorded at The Colosseum, Town Hall, Watford, 24-25 November 2007


Armstrong Gibbs was once a favourite composer of local choral societies, but his masterpiece, the choral symphony Odysseus, has seldom been heard because it immediately preceded the Second World War and afterwards never really established itself. Yet it is a cherishable score, and if you like Vaughan Williams’s A Sea Symphony you will love this tuneful and evocative work. Here Susan Gritton and Mark Stone revel in their roles as soprano and baritone soloists respectively. Telling the familiar story of Odysseus’s legendary wanderings around the eastern Mediterranean after the fall of Troy , and his return to Ithaca , Odysseus – which in fact is Gibbs’s second symphony – has long been requested by enthusiasts. It is vividly realised by the London Oriana Choir and the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by David Drummond. The choir also make Four Songs for Sailors, Dyson’s tuneful songs for chorus, strings, brass and timpani, sound effortless, and with the work’s theme of ships and sailors is the perfect complement to Armstrong Gibbs’s epic vision.

Download songs' text (50kB)

Recent Releases:

Sea Fever - English songs with orchestra, including

Dyson - Five songs of valour and praise
Roderick Williams, baritone
BBC Concert Orchestra
Martin Yates, conductor

Also contains songs by Bainton, Bax, Boughton, Ireland and Parry

Dutton Digital Epoch CDLX7199

This survey of music for baritone and orchestra includes songs written between 1903 and 1935, and includes a duet – featuring soprano Ailish Tynan – from Parry’s opera Guenever, which dates from 1886. Works by composers such as Bax, Boughton and Bainton are heard and, in Boughton’s case, we are treated to three songs from his early Kipling settings ‘Songs of the English’. These and many other delights are on offer, and the combined forces of Roderick Williams and the BBC Concert Orchestra under Martin Yates give impassioned performances of these glorious works.

"Roderick Williams ... is here on peak form: wonderfully clear diction, steady, even tone throughout his range, an exceptional alertness to mood and nuance. His voice has become a real pleasure to hear, the top especially thrilling, Add to that a willingness to explore esoteric repertoire such as this, and we are greatly privileged."
"... a labour of love duly rewarded in performance."
Piers Burton-Page, International Record Review, January 2008

Chandos CHAN10439


Two coronation anthems
Three Songs of Praise
Woodland Suite 

Mark Padmore (tenor) 
Neal Davies (bass-baritone)

BBC Symphony Chorus, BBC Symphony Orchestra / Richard Hickox

This is  the first recording ever of Sir George Dyson’s choral cantata Nebuchadnezzar, performed by the BBC Symphony Chorus and Orchestra with Mark Padmore and Neal Davies, conducted by Richard Hickox. Composed in 1935 for the Worcester Festival, Dyson’s post-romantic work is dramatic, sumptuous, and richly melodic, recalling the work of Vaughan Williams, Howells and Bliss. Dyson achieved his greatest popularity in England during the 1930s and 1940s with large-scale choral / orchestral pieces such as In Honour of the City, The Canterbury Pilgrims and Nebuchadnezzar. Sadly, his work faded from view after 1950, but by the end of the century was being rediscovered by a new generation of audiences and performers.   

After returning from several years of studies and travel in Europe in 1907, Dyson became, thanks to Sir Hubert Parry, the first Director of Music of the Royal Naval College , Osborne. The outbreak of World War I, however, had a profound effect on him. He left his post and enlisted. After a period of distinguished but shattering service in the trenches he was invalided out. He returned to the Royal College of Music, shaken and transformed. Fortunately, he recovered and after 1918 his career resumed almost where he had left it on the outbreak of war. In 1924 he was appointed head of the music department at Winchester College and it was during the ensuing years that he began writing the choral works that would make him famous.   

Dyson took the text for Nebuchadnezzar from the Book of Daniel, incorporating the ‘Song of the Three Holy Children’ from the Apocrypha. Emulating Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast, Dyson set the story in four parts.  In the first three the music tells the well-known biblical story of the Jews Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and the burning fiery furnace, while the fourth is a more conventional hymn of praise, ‘All the works of the Lord, Bless Ye the Lord’ – the Benedicite. The tenor Mark Padmore sings the Herald, and Nebuchadnezzar is sung by the bass-baritone Neal Davies.   

This superb performance further demonstrates Richard Hickox’s understanding for Dyson and follows The Canterbury Pilgrims and Quo Vadis in the Chandos discography.

George Dyson's music is well represented on disc on the following labels:
CDLX 7137
Dyson: Chamber Works

Epigrams for piano
Cello sonata
Prelude & ballet for piano
Three violin pieces
My birthday, for piano
Twilight: four preludes for piano
Three Lyrics for violin and piano
Primrose Mount, for piano
Three War Pieces, for piano

David Owen Norris (piano), Joseph Spooner (cello), David Juritz (violin)




Dutton Digital Epoch CDLX7199
Dyson: Sea Fever
Sea Fever - English songs with orchestra, including
Dyson - Five songs of valour and praise

Also contains songs by Bainton, Bax, Boughton, Ireland and Parry

Roderick Williams, baritone
BBC Concert Orchestra
Martin Yates, conductor



CHAN10308 X

At the Tabard Inn - overture
Symphony in G
In Honour of the City

London Symphony Chorus
London Symphony Orchestra
City of London Sinfonia
Richard Hickox


Violin Concerto
Children's Suite

Lydia Mordkovitch (violin), City of London Sinfonia - Richard Hickox



The Canterbury Pilgrims 
At the Tabard Inn
In Honour of the City

Yvonne Kenny, Robert Tear, Stephen Roberts
LSO, LSC, - Richard Hickox

Concerto da Camera
Concerto da Chiesa
Concerto Leggiero
Eric Parkin (piano) City of London Sinfonia - Richard Hickox, 


CHAN 10061-2
Quo Vadis


Cheryl Baker, Jean Rigby, Philip Langridge, Roderick Williams
BBC National Orchestra & Chorus  of Wales, Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama Chamber Choir - Richard Hickox
O Praise God
Westminster Abbey Choir - Douglas Guest
Hierusalem / 3 Songs of praise / 3 Choral Hymns / O praise God in his holiness (Psalm 150) / Fantasia and ground bass
St Michael's Singers, RPO - Jonathan Rennert
Thomas trotter (organ)




Three Rhapsodies (string quartet). Also contains Howells' String Quartet no.3



Evening Service in D
St Paul's Cathedral Choir - Christopher Dearnley
NAXOS DDD 8.557720

At the Tabard Inn - overture
Concerto da Chiesa for String Orchestra
Symphony in G major

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra / Lloyd Jones

Sweet Thames Run Softly / The Blacksmiths / A Spring Garland / To Music
Stephen Roberts (baritone) Ossian Ellis (harp) RPO, Royal College of Music Chamber Choir,  - David Willcocks
St Paul's Journey to Melita /  Agincourt / Nocturne from "Quo Vadis"
Neil Mackie (tenor)
Bournemouth Symphony  Orchestra & Chorus - Vernon Handley
Classico CLASSCD 456
Elgar and the English Choral Tradition - The Blacksmiths (World premiere recording of the orchestral version)
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus, conductor Douglas Bostock (also contains works by Elgar, Bridge, Howells, Brian and Purcell orch. Elgar)
The Dyson Songbook: choral and solo songs
Winchester College Quiristers
Regis RRC 1161
George Dyson - Choral and organ music
1 Evening Service in D: magnificat
2 Nunc Dimittis
3 Live For Ever, Glorious Lord
4 Prelude (organ solo)
5 Postlude (organ solo)
6 Vespers
7 Psalm Tune Prelude: I Was Glad
8 Te Deum
9 Benedictus
10 Hail, Universal Lord
11 Dyson's Delight (Herbert Howells, organ solo)
12 A Voluntary of Praise (organ solo)
13 Benedicite
14 Valour
St Catherine's College, Cambridge
Owen Rees, Ian Coleman (organ)









Clovelly CLCD 12601

"They that go down to the sea..." / Four songs for sailors

Ely Cathedral Choir conducted by Paul Trepte (also contains works by Sumsion, Ireland, Holst, Britten, Head, Vaughan Williams, Hemingway)

GNCD 7200
"My beloved spake": music for strings and voices. Includes Hierusalem, and works by Finzi, Rutter, Hadley, Bridge and Holst.
Hannah Garner (soprano), Hampstead Singers, Emmanuel Chamber Orchestra - Mark Denza


PRCD 535
Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis vol.7; Dyson in F
Hereford Cathedral Choir - Roy Massey
PRCD 786
Te Deum and Jubilate vol.4;
Dyson in D
Ripon Cathedral Choir - Kerry Beaumont
CCD 1025
Prelude, fantasy and chaconne (arr. 'cello and piano) with Delius Cello sonata etc. 
(This CD is now deleted but it may be possible to find copies in the shops.)
HAVP 311
My Own Country - a recital of English song including Dyson's, A Poet's Hymn and Song of the Cyclops
Harry Sever (boy soprano) and Robert Bottone (piano)

Recorded January 2005

2 CD Set  
Violin Concerto
Children's' Suite
Concerto leggiero
Concerto da camera
Concerto da chiesa
Lydia Mordkovitch, Eric Parkin, City of London Sinfonia, conducted Ricahrd Hickox

Available September 2005

Sanctuary Classics  
White Line CD WHL 2153
English Cello Music

Prelude, fantasy and chaconne for cello and orchestra (1936)

Raphael Wallfisch (cello)
BBC Concert Orchestra
Vernon Handley

Murrill, Cello Concerto No.2
Rubbra, Soliloquy for cello and orchestra, Op.57
Haydn Wood, Philharmonic Variations


The 2012 Three Choirs Festival at Hereford included as its centrepiece on 25 July a performance of  "The Canterbury Pilgrims", conducted by Martyn Brabbins with the Philharmonia Chorus and the Festival Chorus. Soloists were Susan Gritton, Alan Oke and Simon Bailey. It was attended by the trustees of the Sir George Dyson Trust, and by Freeman Dyson, the composer's 88-year-old son, who flew in with his wife from his home in the USA specially for this performance.  Freeman John Dyson FRS is a still active British-born American theoretical physicist and mathematician, famous for his work in quantum electrodynamics, solid-state physics, astronomy and nuclear engineering. The work was, surprisingly, receiving its first performance at the Three Choirs Festival, which was sponsored by the Trust, by the Elmley Foundation and the Music Reprieval Foundation.
The advance brochure from the Three Choirs Festival says: 
"The centrepiece of the [Festival] programme is a rare performance of Sir George Dyson’s The Canterbury Pilgrims. Today, Dyson’s name may not be familiar to many outside the world of church music, but in the mid twentieth century he was a highly influential figure in the musical life of this country, and this work, full of exciting choral writing and orchestral colour, deserves to be far better known."
A new definitive account of Dyson's life and music has recently been completed by Paul Spicer. He covers in detail his life and his music, and the book will include many photographs, musical examples, and a complete list of works and recordings. There will also be an accompanying CD including talks about music which Dyson recorded in 1928 for Columbia.  Publication by Boydell and Brewer is due during 2012.
The Trust is working to bring about republication of a number of works long out of print and encouraging the re-issue of recordings currently unavailable.
The Trust is sometimes able to give grants towards the cost of performing and recording major Dyson works.  Please apply to the administrator, giving full details of the proposed work, dates, venue and artists.


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