First Performances

Cyril Bradley Rootham (CBR) was director of music at St John's College, Cambridge from 1901 until his death in 1938. He was also a lecturer in composition at the University, and musical director of the CUMS. In his leisure time, he still managed to compose over 100 works: this page highlights the first performance or first broadcast of some major items.

Unfortunately CBR did not keep a diary or journal, so we have to track down first performance dates from CD booklet notes, old concert programmes, magazines, newspapers and the BBC Genome Project.


This web page is tentative and embryonic at this stage, and any extra information will be gladly received!

Please contact Dan Rootham initially through our Feedback page.

Opus Composed Title Genre Instrumentation Approx Duration Date of First Performance Performance Venue Performers Conductor Sheet Music
  7 ca.1890-1900 How sleep the brave Choral Chorus and orchestra unknown 1901 First performance:
St. Mary, Tyndall's Park, Clifton, Bristol
Choir of St. Mary's Church? Frederick Rootham
(organist and CBR's uncle)
Manuscript only
18 1903-05 Andromeda Choral Soprano, contralto and baritone soli, chorus and orchestra 65' 1908 First performance:
Bristol Musical Festival
Bristol Festival Chorus Daniel Wilberforce Rootham?
or Cyril Rootham?
available 2019
33 1908-09 The Lady of Shalott Choral Mezzo-soprano solo, chorus and orchestra 33' 1999-09-18 First performance:
School Hall, Eton College
Broadheath Singers, Windsor Sinfonia Robert Tucker Typeset:
available 2019
36 1910 A Passer By Orchestral Full orchestra 10' 1911-10-03 First performance:
Queen's Hall, London
(Prom 45)
The New Queen's Hall Orchestra Henry Wood Typesetting
39 1911 Hear the voice and prayer Anthem Voices SATB and organ 06' 1911 First performance:
Chapel of St John's College, Cambridge
- anthem written for 400th anniversary of the College
Choir of St John's College Cyril Rootham 54093
Stainer & Bell
47 1913 Song from Theocritus 15th Idyll Voice & chamber orchestra Soprano, strings and harp 07' 1914 First performance:
Bedford College, London
(from the manuscript:) "Composed for the representation of the 15th Idyll of Theocritus at Bedford College, Regent's Park, London, at the meeting of the British Classical Association, Jan. 1914"
unknown Cyril Rootham Typeset: proofreading
49 1914 String Quartet in C major Chamber music Violins, viola and cello 25' 1915 First performance Philharmonic Quartet: Arthur Beckwith (violin), Eugene Aynsley Goossens (violin), Raymond Jeremy (viola), Cedric Sharpe (cello)
The work is dedicated "To the Philharmonic Quartet"
Typeset: proofreading
1934-01-28 First broadcast:
BBC National Programme
The International String Quartet: André Mangeot (violin), Walter Price (violin), Eric Bray (viola), Jack Shinebourne (violoncello)
51 1915 For the Fallen Choral Chorus and orchestra 20' 1919-03-14 First performance:
Guildhall, Cambridge
Cambridge University Music Society Cyril Rootham Cathedral Music:
CM 1086
55 1916-20 The Two Sisters Opera Soli, chorus and orchestra unknown 1922-02-14 First performance:
New Theatre, Cambridge
Cambridge Operatic Society
Soloists: Gladys Moger (Ellen), Dorothy Campbell Giles (Annot), Steuart Wilson (Rainald), Clive Carey (The Harper)
Producer: Dennis Arundell
Dennis Arundell University of Rochester, NY, USA:
(vocal score)
57 1918 The Two Sisters concert overture Orchestral Full orchestra 10' 1918-09-19 First performance:
Queen's Hall, London
(Prom 35)
The New Queen's Hall Orchestra Cyril Rootham Typeset: available 2019
1934-08-15 First broadcast:
BBC Regional London
The BBC Orchestra, leader Laurance Turner H. Foster Clark
59 1919 Weep not, beloved friends Part song Voices SATB a cappella 02' 1919 First performance:
Memorial Service in St John's College Chapel, autumn 1919
  Cyril Rootham Typeset: proofreading
60 1920 Processional
("Procession in Scarlet")
Orchestral Full orchestra 06' 1920-06-15 First performance:
King's College Chapel, Cambridge
- musical celebration in honour of the Chancellor of Cambridge University (Arthur Balfour)
Cambridge University Musical Society? Cyril Rootham Typeset: proofreading
65 1921-22 Brown Earth Choral Chorus, semi-chorus and orchestra 08' 1923-03-14 Royal Albert Hall Combined musical societies of Oxford and Cambridge Universities Cyril Rootham? Typeset:
available 2019
72 1923 Jemima Part song Voices TTBB a cappella 02' 1924-11-13 First broadcast:
BBC All Stations relay from London
The London Male Voice Octet   Typeset:
75 1925 Sonata in G minor Chamber music Violin and piano 20' 1925-11-09 First performance Bessie Rawlins (violin), Kathleen Long (piano)   OUP Archive
81 1921-22 Ode on the Morning of Christ's Nativity Choral Soprano, tenor & baritone soli, chorus, boys' semi-chorus and orchestra 42' 1930-06-13 First performance:
Guildhall, Cambridge
Choir and orchestra of the Cambridge University Music Society Cyril Rootham Stainer & Bell:
1931-12-29 First broadcast:
BBC Regional London
The Wireless Chorus, chorus of boys, The BBC Studio Symphony Orchestra Cyril Rootham
83 1930 Septet Chamber music Viola, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn and harp 17' 1933-09-21 First performance:
Pittsfield Music Festival in Massachusetts, USA
Jules Lefranc (viola) with members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra   Typeset:
available 2019
1936-03-01 First UK performance:
Guildhall, Cambridge
Lionel Tertis (viola), Frank Butterworth (flute), Joy Boughton (oboe), Stephen Waters (clarinet), Anthony Baines (bassoon), David Burditt (horn), Vera Pryce Tidman (harp)
1936-06-07 First broadcast:
BBC National Programme Daventry
The London Wind Quintet (augmented): Robert Murchie (flute), Alec Whittaker (oboe), Frederick Thurston (clarinet), Frederick Wood (bassoon), Edmund Chapman (horn), Anthony Collins (viola), John Cockerill (harp)
86 1932 Symphony No 1 in C minor Orchestral Full orchestra 31' 1936-10-30 First broadcast:
BBC National Programme
The BBC Orchestra Cyril Rootham Manuscript only
91 1934 Praise the Lord, O my soul (Psalm 103) Choral Chorus and orchestra 13' 1938-06-16 First performance:
St Barnabas' Church, Cambridge
Unknown Unknown Typeset: proofreading
97 1936-38 Symphony No 2 in D major Orchestral Full orchestra & women's chorus 38' 1939-03-17 First performance & broadcast:
BBC National Programme from the BBC's Maida Vale Studios
download broadcast details and programme note (PDF file)
The BBC Orchestra, BBC Women's Chorus Sir Adrian Boult Typeset:
available 2019