George Lloyd Society Newsletter 2020 September



This Newsletter contains pictures.  If you do not see them,
please view it online - it may look better that way in any case!        
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The George Lloyd Society Newsletter                                                                  September 2020 



Dear Visitor,

Greetings from the George Lloyd Society. 

This Newsletter is sent if you have recently registered to download perusal scores, or recently joined the Gorge Lloyd Society. Newsletters are occasional, and so maybe long, but I hope you find them interesting. 

In this issue: 

  • The University of Salford.  A new chapter for the George Lloyd Archive
  • Shaman or Showman? - Peter Davison explores George Lloyd's esoteric dialogue with the subconscious in the context of Jungian psychology. 
  • New Recording and performance of Symphony No 10 for Brass - November Journeys played by Abbey Brass/Tony Hindley, issued by FS Records
  • Perusal scores of symphonies now available for download, with no charge.
  • Conifer Records. Lloyd stated that his relationship with Conifer Records founder John Deacon was one of the most significant of his life.
  • King's Messenger. Lloyd's piece for brass band, based of one of the oldest songs in existence, had a special meaning for the composer. Lloyd's father and grandfather had both served as military couriers.
  • Fifth Symphony. Written beside Lake Neuchâtel during the long hot summer of 1947, which Lloyd described as 'probably the happiest of my life.'  With a link to a new biographical article, and a fine video tribute from David Hurwitz.
  • Online sources. A selection of audio, video, interviews and articles. 
  • Notes and Queries:
    • A curious co-incidence involving Sorabji
    • A mysterious inscription on the score of Concerto for Violin and Strings
    • Ryewater Gardens. An aerial photograph of Lloyd's business in 1963.
    • Manchester connections. George Lloyd FRS, the composer's great-great-great-great-grandfather was a medical doctor, a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Trustee of Chetham's Hospital, a founder of Manchester Infirmary and father to three radical political activists and reformers.
    • A new book: "Classical Music saved my life..." 


  • * Special Offer:  following the winding up of United Music Publishers, we have acquired their liquidated stock of George Lloyd's music scores, and can now offer these scores with gratis copies of Lloyd's own recordings of the works,  at liquidator's prices. (about 25% of normal retail price.) Details Below

Dear Subscribers, 

This newsletter has a retrospective tone. The pandemic wiped out our concert programme for 2020, so we have stayed at home, mostly looking inwards at the biographical archive, so among other news this newsletter focuses on biography.  

The response to our call for George Lloyd biographical material in December 2019 was very positive, and although the lock-down temporarily stalled our plans to compile the material into a symposium biography, we have started work on a detailed timeline. Using the correspondence archive of several thousand letters we have produced the first dozen of a series of preliminary biographical sketches covering different periods in Lloyd's life, with new articles on the composer's bohemian childhood in St Ives and his musical education. More details of the HMS Trinidad episode and his recovery have been added, and outlines of the build-up to the Festival of Britain commission for the opera John Socman and his retreat from the concert hall into the relative obscurity of Dorset. With the help of musicologist Peter Davison, we have made a start on what may be one of the more perplexing chapters in the biography - George and Nancy Lloyd's exploration of the mystical and spiritual aspects of the psyche and their use of alternative healing therapies and divination techniques.  Our new relationship with Salford University has prompted exploration of the activities of the Lloyd family in 18th century Manchester.

These biographical sketches are now available for download, free of charge, from the George Lloyd website, here, with links from the various newsletter items.

CD sales have improved a little, thanks in part to our excellent distributors at Heritage Records (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and website traffic and downloads have also increased as people spent more time at home.

Even BBC Radio 3 showed an unusual flurry of broadcasts in April and May. (It may be that the sudden appearance of three George Lloyd symphonies was the result of listener requests to Radio 3, in which case, whatever you were doing, please keep it up!)

Thanks, and best wishes,


William Lloyd


The George Lloyd Society Newsletter                                                                 September 2020 


 Salford logo

The University of Salford

and The George Lloyd Archive.                                  


George Lloyd’s music is to be the subject of doctoral thesis by former Royal Marines Director of Music, Richard Harvey, who has been appointed principal lecturer in Classical Performance and Conducting at the University of Salford - the very institution that bestowed an Honorary Doctorate on the composer in 1992. Richard is now working on plans to house and administer the George Lloyd Music Library and archives at the University. Richard Harvey Biography

Alongside his teaching duties at the university, Richard continues his research into the life and work of George Lloyd for his own doctoral studies, the primary goal of which will be to raise the awareness and enjoyment of George’s music through performances of transcriptions and new works based on symphonic material.

In 2012 Richard composed Am Sailing to Westward, premiered at the Mountbatten Festival of Music at the Royal Albert Hall. The work takes the form of a narration with orchestral accompaniment using themes from Lloyd’s symphonies, and recounts the events surrounding Lloyd's trauma and the last days of HMS Trinidad  

        Westwards Flag Signal   

“Am sailing to westward”
The last flag signal flown by HMS Trinidad, May 1942, before the order was given to HMS Matchless to sink her with torpedoes, with her battle ensigns flying, off the North Cape.

A PDF with this and additional information, can be found here. 

                             Salford logoLibrary 160 X 160 Pix                                                                                             : 




The George Lloyd Society Newsletter                                                                   September 2020

 ossian clear

 Shaman or Showman?


Peter Davison examines Lloyd's personality and music
in the context of his bohemian upbringing, his mystical beliefs and his use of alternative therapies in the wake of his wartime injuries.

When faced with the imaginative and technical difficulties of creating a large scale work of art while trying to earn a living, many artists and composers come to believe they never had a real choice, for their art has chosen them. Should they decline the challenge, they will likely suffer unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, as if the creative energies latent in the unconscious mind may not be blocked without consequence.” 

In this 9000 word article, Peter Davison brings together several aspects of Lloyd's psychology - the influence of Carl Jung, the composer’s reliance on alternative therapies such as hypnosis and meditation to overcome his shell shock, and his use of semi-trance states in composition, all combined with a hard-edged practical realism.

George Lloyd's determination to resist prevailing musical orthodoxy arose from an inner compulsion - in his own words "I write what I have to write".  Davison explores his drive to compose, both before and after his wartime trauma, revealing the influence of the ancient Celtic culture which Lloyd had known since infancy, as well as the visionary principles of Theosophy which surrounded him in the family home. Yet Lloyd was also a realist and a sceptic, demonstrating at crucial moments clear judgement and sharp business acumen.



Ossian with his harp,
resting by a Dolmen (Hoyer)



" The life and work of George Lloyd raise significant questions about the true nature of occult experiences. It is clear that many who claim such esoteric knowledge are gullible and naïve, while some cynically manipulate those who want or need to believe. George Lloyd did not belong to either camp. He was an empiricist willing to accept the unorthodox, if it worked. If dowsing found him fresh water, he would not question its validity. If hypnosis cured his PTSD, he would gladly accept it. For all that, Lloyd was  more shaman than showman, even if he occasionally showed the romantic artist’s diabolical desire for power over the unconscious.

Lloyd’s late works tell us that he did find a level of spiritual peace in old age. The boisterous optimism of the Symphonic Mass, the celebration of the joy of music in A Litany and the serenity of the Twelfth Symphony suggest a man at ease with himself, no longer dogged by nightmares about war or battles with his personal demons. 

To download the article, click here: 
George Lloyd: Shaman or Showman pdf

Please forward this newsletter and/or the article to anyone who may be interested, as we are naturally keen to get them distributed as widely as possible.

Shaman or Showman - About the author.  

   Petrer Davison

Peter Davison was Artistic Consultant and director of the International Concert Series at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall from 1994-2018, where he created a successful high-quality classical music programme without the assistance of direct subsidy. Until 2014 he was Director of the Two Rivers FestivalHe is an internationally renowned Mahler scholar and in 2010 published Wrestling with Angels about the life and work of Gustav Mahler. He has lectured at several universities and acted as an assessor and financial analyst for the Arts Council of England and for major orchestras and concert halls. Peter Davison has an M.Phil. in Musicology from the University of Cambridge.

Short biography of Peter Davison here:  pdfAbout the Author


The George Lloyd Society Newsletter                                                               September  2020 


 FS logo

New Recording of 10th Symphony 


Pages from FSR201 Booklet

We are pleased to announce the forthcoming release of a new recording of Lloyd's Symphony No 10 for 13 brass instruments: November Journeys.

The symphony has had two previous commercial recordings. The first, on the Trax Classique label with the London Collegiate Brass, is no longer available. The second, made under the composer's own direction with the BBC Philharmonic Brass, is on the  Albany Records label

The new recording by Abbey Brass is a most welcome addition. The performance, interpretation and audio production are subtly different from previous recordings, expressing different aspects of the music. Abbey Brass under Tony Hindley have greater warmth and intimacy than the BBC Philharmonic recording, which is brighter and more grandly heroic.

George Lloyd liked an ‘Italian’ sound, particularly when writing for brass, and the Albany recording reveals his preference for brilliance and a wide range of dynamics. Tony Hindley's version, helped by FS Records' audio production, is richer and darker, blending the instruments more subtly, with more shading in the balances and in the stereo placing. Both versions successfully conjure the atmosphere of the great cathedrals which inspired the piece.  

Preferences are always subjective, but both ensembles do justice to the technical difficulties of the writing, and both are attractive recordings. I have no hesitation in recommending the new issue, and FR Records have kindly offered a 15% discount on the CD or FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec.) See below for discount code. 

Pages from FSR201 Booklet 2

 Also featured on the CD are three fine works by King's Singers composer and MD of Duchy Opera, Paul Drayton: Tom Pellow’s March, Nocturne and Antique Suite

FS Records was founded in Autumn 2018 by Francis Shepherd, initially to release a recording of mostly unheard lute music from the early 16th century by his father, lutenist and lute maker Martin Shepherd. 

Abbey Brass was formed in 1983, combining players based in the West Country with others from London and other centres, in a variety of ensemble sizes. 




 Abbey Brass will launch the CD at 2 pm on 26th September 2020
in Ashburton Arts Centre
with a performance of Symphony No 10.

The CD will be available from the FS Records website here,  

George Lloyd Society members may claim a 15% discount on CD or FLAC
by entering the code ‘GL10’ at the checkout.

Available for streaming or downloading from the usual platforms:
Amazon, iTunes, Apple, Spotify etc.   

Listening samples are here.



The George Lloyd Society Newsletter                                                             September 2020   



Perusal Scores available for download, at no cost.


Our typesetting project is progressing well, although slowly, and the following scores are now  available for download:

Library 160x160 Symphonies 4, 6, and 9                             Full Score
 Symphony No 10  (Copy manuscript)
           Full Score
 Cello Concerto                                             Full Score
 In Memoriam for orchestra                          Full Score
 HMS Trinidad March for orchestra               Full Score   
 The Lily leaf and the Grasshopper             Piano Solo
 The Transformation of That Naked Ape     Piano Solo


These downloads are available without charge to registered subscribers.
egistration requires only an email address. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Thanks to everyone who has registered for Perusal scores, and who will now be receiving a Newsletter for the first time. 

Please click here for Perusal Scores

The Download area also contains audio files and biographical articles
which are available at no cost and without registration.

Click here for audio files and biographical articles




The George Lloyd Society  Newsletter                                                                September 2020  
Conifer Logo


    George Lloyd's Indian Summer

        - Conifer Records, 'buckets of dollars'  
           - and a setting of Betjeman's Wantage Bells                                    

George Lloyd's relationship with John G Deacon, founder of Conifer Records, was a major factor in the relaunch of Lloyd's musical career and an important step on his way to becoming a best-selling composer in the mid-1980s. 

John G. Deacon had started out in the music business with EMI in 1960, and worked for that company for 17 years, until 1977 when he founded Conifer Records. His new company grew fast with the 'big bang' of the digital audio revolution, and in 1983 Conifer Records remarkably won 4 out of the 12 available Gramophone Awards, with a turnover approaching £1.6 million.   

Lloyd's relationship with John Deacon was productive, friendly and businesslike. The company was the distributor for Lyrita Recorded Edition, who had issued 3 LP records of Lloyd symphonies, conducted by Edward Downes, so Conifer were aware of the popularity of Lloyd's music with the public. They offered him a better deal, and agreed a generous and mutually beneficial contract. 

For new recordings, John introduced Lloyd to recording engineer Tony Faulkner and Decca producer Andrew Cornall, considered to be the best in the business at that time. The composer acknowledged that this was one of the most important introductions of his life, because Faulkner and Cornall not only produced an award-winning and glistening sound, but they also introduced Lloyd to digital recording and to the new CD technology which was soon to dominate the classical music business. Digital technology allowed Lloyd to take control of his own recordings, and, thanks to the Conifer contract, control of the all-important royalties. As the composer himself put it 'all of a sudden - buckets of dollars!' 

Within two years of Lloyd's arrival at Conifer, John Deacon was eased out of his own company, following various shady dealings and in-house machinations. Conifer began to implode and Lloyd, who had seen the writing on the wall, abandoned Conifer in order to set up his own company, Albany Records (UK). His nephew William became his business manager and executive producer and between them they took control of 100% of the recording, publishing and mechanical royalties, the recording schedule, and all manufacture and distribution. It was that move which provided the financial resources for Lloyd to spend the next 10 years writing some of his major works and recording everything that he had written. Every Albany CD was financed from the profits of the sale of the one before, and he built a loyal and dedicated following among the public, bypassing the conventional gatekeepers in academia, the BBC and the major publishers.

Wantage Bells by John Betjeman

Harwood LP

 When Conifer Records was at its peak, John Deacon commissioned a recital and recording of rare English songs by the late (and adored) soprano Elizabeth Harwood, and asked George Lloyd if he would write a song for Elizabeth.

The composer obliged with Wantage Bells,to a poem by John Betjeman, issued by Conifer on vinyl LP CFRA 120. (Not available on CD.)

The copyright now belongs to The Elizabeth Harwood Memorial Trust, and  her husband Julian Royle has kindly agreed to allow us to make this now rare recording available to members of the Society.

Wantage Bells - The Poem -  wonderfully written on his own watercolour painting by John Betjeman.


Link to play the recording here                       Link to download the recording here 

Link to John Deacon Homepage 



The George Lloyd Society Newsletter                                                                  September 2020     



King's Messenger 

A 3000 year old poem by Confucius, with a family connection.


Dar Al'Baydar
A Christian village burned by Druze militia,
Mount Lebanon Civil War, 1860

Burned Village in Syria 1860

Watercolour by Capt G W E Lloyd


King’s Messenger was commissioned for the 1994 European Brass Band Championship. The work takes its title from an ode by Confucius, and the composer’s interest in the poem arose in part because the Odes of Confucius are believed to be the oldest authenticated songs in existence. The poem also had a personal resonance with Lloyd's immediate family, as his father and grandfather had both served as military couriers, carrying sensitive wartime intelligence information.

His father Major William Lloyd was an Admiralty Courier, carrying top-secret code books to Royal Navy warships and submarines during World War Two.

His grandfather Captain Walter Lloyd carried out reconnaissance and military intelligence gathering during the Mount Lebanon Civil War of 1860, while serving on HMS Leopard.

Download article here



The George Lloyd Society Newsletter                                                                  September 2020     


1947: The Fifth Symphony
and Lake Neuchâtel 


George Lloyd by Lake CMYK OPT










Beside Lake Neuchâtel

Georges Piano at Neuchate 1948

       The piano in the Lloyds' apartment at Corcelette 



By the end of the war in September 1945, 2½ years after the torpedo strike on HMS Trinidad, the symptoms of George’s PTSD had improved enough for him to be re-assessed as ‘30% disabled’ by the Ministry of Pensions. Within a month of the war in Europe ending, Nancy took him to Switzerland to her home at Prima Flora, a busy guesthouse in the quiet Alpine village of Chateau D’Oex in the mountains of the Bernese Oberland, where they had first met and married.

With Nancy's help he slowly regained control of the severe shaking his hands and and was able to begin writing again. In 1946 he wrote his 4th Symphony, and in the summer of 1947 they took a apartment in Corcelettes, a small village beside Lake Neuchâtel, and he started work on his 5th Symphony. It was a blazing hot summer, his health was improving, and the music flowed, so that time was described by George as 'probably the happiest of my life.' 

Download a biographical article about the composition of the Fifth Symphony here

A review of online features. 
A selection of recent video, audio, articles and interviews



 A soundtrack for the English Lake District

The composer's nephew, film maker Tom Lloyd, has made a series of short films about iconic houses in the English Lake District, using George Lloyd's music as the soundtracks.


Adagio from Symphony No 6.  (Town Head House, Windermere, Cumbria).  


The Lily Leaf and The Grasshopper  (Peasecroft, Coniston, Cumbria) 


Lento from Symphony No 3  (Brackenburn, Derwentwater, Cumbria)

Psalm 130 - Out of the Depths

Conductor John Gibbons is part way through performing the
complete Lloyd Symphonic Cycle with Ealing Symphony Orchestra.
Here he conducts Psalm 130 (Out of the Depths) 
with The St Albans Chamber Choir.

Symphony No 5

The Editor of Classics Today, David Hurwitz, has recently recorded
an enthusiastic review of the 5th Symphony,
and his own part in organising the American premiere.

Conductor Peter Fender has championed Lloyd's music over many years,
and in this short film he discusses the life of an orchestral conductor,
while he rehearses and performs music from Lloyd Symphony No 5
with Elgar In the South and Purcell Dido and Aeneas.


BBC Desert Island Discs: Link 

BBC Composer of the Week: 
Lloyd was selected as 'Composer of the Week' on two separate occasions, (10 programmes in all) but oddly one series seems to have vanished from the BBC list. 
The surviving series can be found here:  Link  

The Cornish Music Archive: two interviews with Lloyd made for the BBC by Philip Hunt.  Link 

Catholic Radio (USA) George Lloyd feature with music examples.  Link 

Symposium Records: George Lloyd talks about his memories of Crystal Palace. Link



The articles below have some relevance to topics covered in this Newsletter. 

Links to online features

Gramophone:        George Lloyd at 100: A retrospective review of the symphonic cycle

Corymbus:           George Lloyd: Myths and Misconceptions

Catholic Herald:   George Lloyd wasn't a Catholic, but his Symphonic Mass is a masterpiece

Catholic Herald:   George Lloyd, the broken man who created healing music.

Links to downloads from

Ian MacDonald  (20 : 20 Magazine)  A Medium with a Message 

Scott Cantrell Interview: Composition technique, the BBC, and 11th Symphony. (1989)

Where does the music come from?   Involuntary composition and writing by inspiration. (A brief survey.)


The George Lloyd Society Newsletter                                                             September 2020   


 Notes and Queries:

A curious coincidence: 

Alistair Hinton, writing in The Sorabji Archive about the similarity between the gestation of Kaikhosru Sorabji's piano concertos and those of Lloyd, notes as follows:

"The respective domiciles of Sorabji and Lloyd may be taken as a matter of some curiosity; they never met or corresponded with one another, as far as I know - indeed, there is not one reference to Lloyd in Sorabji's published writings - but Lloyd spent a good many years after the last World War living in Dorset where Sorabji made his home for his last 35 years, whereupon he (Lloyd) moved to London to live in the same apartment block near Regent's Park where Sorabji had lived for the 35 years before he moved to Dorset: were they avoiding one another?"

A mysterious epigram: 

On the title page of the piano reduction (made to accompany the soloist when practising the solo violin part,) of the Concerto for Violin and String Orchestra, Lloyd has written in ink: "With holy songs or dances, blood-covered sacrifice or prayer, each in our own way we give our offering, Lord.”  The epigram must have been placed to impart some of the imagery behind the piece, but we can find no reference to this quotation. Any pointers from Society members as to the origin of this epigram would be welcome, although it is of course possible that Lloyd wrote it himself. 

Ryewater Gardens, near Sherborne, Dorset 


While researching the biography, an aerial photograph of Ryewater Gardens was discovered among George Lloyd's archives. The image was taken by Skyviews Ltd of Leeds, dated 1963.
At this time Lloyd was expanding his carnation growing business and was operating over 20 greenhouses. He was a pioneer in using polythene instead of glass for greenhouses, which saved significant cost and allowed him construct most of the new greenhouses himself, with the help of his nephew William, who spent several summer holidays climbing ladders and unrolling and fixing polythene sheeting.

George and Nancy Lloyd with Doll Morgan 1961 Low Res

  George Lloyd with his wife Nancy and her sister Doll, 1963

A first draft of the story of Ryewater Gardens will be found here

The composer's family origins: Celtic antecedents and Manchester radicals.


George Lloyd of Manchester born 1708

Composer George Lloyd identified as a Celt, as indeed he was. His maternal grandmother Annie Dwyer was Irish and his paternal grandmother Frances Powell was American with part Welsh, and part Polish ancestry. The male line of Lloyds was an ancient Welsh family, which took great pride in their thousand year Welsh genealogy. They left Wales in the 17th Century and established themselves in Manchester, where they became prominent radicals, reformers and activists.

The composer's great-great-great-great grandfather, George Lloyd FRS was a doctor and a founder Trustee of Manchester  Infirmary, where he practised medicine, and as a Trustee or 'Feofee' he owned the freehold of Chetham's School.

This portrait of George Lloyd FRS, aged 26, at the time of his wedding, now hangs in Manchester City Art Gallery.

More of Manchester here:


George Lloyd's college teachers identified:

Thanks to some detective work in the student registers by conductor Jonathan Butcher, we have identified part of Lloyd's schedule at Trinity College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music between 1929 and 1932.  

William Lovelock is the only teacher specified in the Trinity College registers, so it seems that Lloyd was also studying at the Royal Academy of Music. His teachers Albert Sammons and Harry Farjeon both taught at RAM, and not at TCM, although at that time it was not unusual for music students to study at both colleges.  

Trinity College of Music






Classical Music Saved my LifeScarlett book

by John Sarkett

Subscribers may like to know about a recent book with powerful and moving personal experiences of composers, artists, amateurs, students, teachers, critics, and audience, including a chapter on music's spiritual connection, and a well-detailed chapter on George Lloyd.  Available on Amazon and Kindle.

More details here:  


The George Lloyd Society Newsletter                                                             September 2020  


 George Lloyd Society - Special Offer: 

Two 'CD and Score' Sets 

Special Offer Pervigilum Image


Several of Lloyd's works were published by United Music Publishers, who went into liquidation before being reborn and renamed as as United Music Publishing.

At that time we acquired the liquidated stock of scores of the large scale cantata, Pervigilium Veneris (169 pages) and the Aubade for Two Pianos. (101 pages)



Special Offer Aubade Image


We are now offering copies of these scores, together with the composer's own CD recordings of the works, at a special price of £13.50 per set, (Score and CD) or £25.00 for both sets (2 scores and 2 CDs) 


This represents a saving of over 75% on the original retail prices.




Please note:

  • These prices include VAT and UK Postage
  • Carriage will be charged at cost to Europe, USA and Asia. Please refer to shop for details. 
  • The CD of Pervigilium Veneris with Welsh National Opera was issued under licence from Decca. The CDs remaining at the end of the Licence Period were deleted and are available to subscribers only.
  • The CD of Aubade includes Aubade, Eventide and The Road Through Samarkand (58 Mins.)
  • Please order via the website shop. LINK 



The George Lloyd Society Newsletter                                                                 September 2020  


george lloyd society logo shadow




Hello again Visitor, 

Thank you for reading this far.... 

This Newsletter turned out rather longer than we intended, and we still have plenty more material for the next one, which might appear before the end of the year.. 

Please forward to anyone who may be interested.

Thanks for your continued support, 


William Lloyd

If you are not a member, please Subscribe here to receive updates.  Benefits of subscription to the Society include: occasional Newsletters, discounts on CDs, music hire, and access to the George Lloyd Music Library & Archive. 

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