This website is dedicated to the English composer Cyril Bradley Rootham (CBR).

The aim is to bring the works of CBR to the attention of musicians and choirs, and to get CBR's fine choral music into print and available to all.

News in 2018

Latest update | 9 Feb 2018

  • 2 Mar 2018: one for your diary - an informal recital to launch the CD of English flute music performed by James Dutton (flute) and Oliver Davies (piano). What's special about this music is that all the featured composers (including Cyril Rootham) had connections with the Royal College of Music, and that none of these works has previously been recorded for CD: hence the album's title "Idyll: The English Flute Unheard". The recital is free and will take place at 7.30 pm on Friday 2 March at Christ Church Kensington, Victoria Road, London W8 5RQ: full details are on the CD Launch Concert poster (PDF file).
  • 9 Feb 2018: we now have a recording of Rootham's Op.88 "Suite for Pianoforte" (1933), in a performance by Philip Lange. This unusual four-movement piece is CBR's only work for solo piano and is dedicated "To Pamela McKenna".
  • 24 Jan 2018: we have found a recording by unknown performers of Rootham's Op.83 "Septet" (1930). This fascinating discovery consisted of a set of Compact Cassettes in the archive left by CBR's son Jasper Rootham, and we believe that the performance dates from the 1980s. If you can help us to identify the players, please get in touch through our Feedback page.
  • 7 Jan 2018: we have started to build a list of First Performance Dates for Rootham's compositions. If you can provide premiere dates for any unlisted works (or correct dates for the few listed works), do please let us know through our Feedback page.
  • 6 Jan 2018: thanks to the MuseScore notation software, you can now follow the score of Rootham's Op.90 No.2 Evening Service in E minor (1933) while listening to the famous recording made in Wells Cathedral by Denys Pouncey back in 1965. This recording is contained in the 5-CD box set The Treasury of English Church Music.
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Short biography

Cyril Bradley Rootham (CBR) was a composer, conductor, teacher and college organist. For most of his working life he was based at St John's College, Cambridge - a place which he loved. So far five generations of the Rootham family had connections with or have graduated from St John's College.

Although a prolific composer in his own right, CBR also directed his efforts towards the revival of neglected works by established composers (Purcell, Mozart and Handel) and in the promotion of new music from contemporary composers (Vaughan Williams, Kodály, Honegger and Pizzetti ). As conductor of the Cambridge University Musical Society (CUMS), CBR had at his disposal a large orchestra for such musical ventures. The article about CBR on Wikipedia provides more details about his career.

From 1900 until his early death in 1938, CBR was an influential figure in Cambridge musical life. He became Senior Lecturer in Counterpoint and Harmony, and taught a number of musicians who went on to become significant composers (including Arthur Bliss, Armstrong Gibbs and Patrick Hadley).

Previously at the Proms...


What's next?

Future plans: during 2018 this website will expand gradually, augmenting the list of CBR's works, telling you about upcoming editions of CBR's music, announcing live concerts, and adding more synchronised score pages to works in the Playlist.

Note: if you have any information you would like to contribute to the website, or if you are planning a performance of one of CBR's works, please do get in touch through our Feedback page.

Share: do share a page link to the CBR website