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 | 24 June 2017

  • 23 June 2017: on YouTube you can now listen to Cyril Rootham's Capriccio for String Quartet in D minor (Op.20), composed in 1905 and recorded for the first time in April 2017
  • 21 May 2017: at the Eucharist Service in St Peter's Church in Dorchester (Dorset), the choir sang Rootham's anthem "The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance" Op.24
  • 22 Apr 2017: at the Daventry weekend meeting (21-23 April) of the Federation of Recorded Music Societies, CBR's grandson Dan Rootham gave a talk about Cyril Rootham's music - with some extracts from historic recordings

      FRMS chairman Allan Child introducing Dan Rootham's talk about CBR
        FRMS chairman Allan Child introducing Dan's talk about Cyril Rootham                             (Photo: Chris Ward)
  • 11 Apr 2017: we undertook a successful recording session for two of CBR's little-known but beautiful chamber works: Op.20 "Capriccio for String Quartet in D minor" (1905) and Op.27 "String Quintet in D major" (1908)
  • 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)
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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