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.


Latest update | 20 March 2017

  • 22 Apr 2017: CBR's grandson Dan Rootham will be giving a talk about Cyril Rootham's music at the Daventry weekend meeting (21-23 April) of the Federation of Recorded Music Societies
  • 19 Mar 2017: Cyril Rootham's op 89 "March for Military Band" (1933) was included in a concert by the London Military Band - details are on our Concerts page, and on our Playlist page you can now hear the first recording of Rootham's Op.89 "March for Military Band"
  • 12 Feb 2017: six early CBR songs (1894-1905) and the later choral work op 65 "Brown Earth" (1922) can now be played on this website: look for the player icons on our Works page
  • 28 Jan 2017: MuseScore's clever technology now allows you to hear several CBR songs and part-songs on the musescore.com website
  • 6 Jan 2017: at a charity concert in the Normansfield Theatre in Teddington, CBR's grandson Dan Rootham sang the rarely-heard op 19 "The Ballad of Kingslea Mere" (1905)
  • 18 Nov 2016: The Treasury Singers gave a lunchtime concert in St Margaret's Church, Westminster. Their programme included CBR's two songs opus 5 (1898): "Love and Laughter" and "Strew on her Roses" - details on the Concerts page
  • 20 June 2016: as part of the Festival of Chichester, the Anemos Wind Quintet gave a recital, when their programme included CBR's op 83 "Septet" (1930); for this work they were joined by Ruth McGibben (viola) and Kate Ham (harp). The beautiful venue of St John's Chapel added to this memorable performance
  • 10 June 2016: at Choral Evensong in the Chapel of St John's College, Cambridge, the choir sang CBR's op 90 "Evening Service in E minor". If you have never heard CBR's beautiful setting of the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis, do listen to this 1965 recording from Wells Cathedral
  • 4 May 2016: just released by Banks Music as an OUP Archive reprint - the vocal score of CBR's op 91 "Praise the Lord O my soul (Psalm 103)" (1934)
  • 25 Apr 2016: now available from Allegro Music as OUP Archive reprints - CBR's op 75 "Sonata in G minor for Violin and Piano" (1925) and op 85 "Trio for Violin, Violoncello and Pianoforte" (1931)
  • 15 Apr 2016: add to Playlist a link to CBR's op 90 "Evening Service in E minor", recorded in Wells Cathedral in 1965 with Denys Pouncey (© Warner Music Group)
  • 13 Apr 2016: you can now download an Excel spreadsheet with the updated list of CBR's works (ver 6 - 56Kb)
  • 26 Mar 2016: in his column "Hinterland" in the Daily Telegraph, Simon Heffer publishes a fascinating article about Lyrita Recorded Edition and the late Richard Itter; both of CBR's symphonies get a mention
  • 29 Feb 2016: add to Playlist a performance of "Hark where Poseidon's White racing horses" opus 94, recorded at a concert by the Ripieno Choir in 2014
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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 2017 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