Today marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Sir Henry J Wood, the first conductor of the Promenade Concerts, and a mainstay of British musical life. The Proms were founded in 1895, and Sir Henry was their guiding hand for several decades, and continued to conduct in the concert series until his death in 1944. Although they are now known as the BBC Proms (the BBC having taken them over in 1927), Sir Henry’s bust still oversees the concerts every season from the back of the Royal Albert Hall stage.
Although I’ve not had time to produce any new transfers of Sir Henry’s work, last summer I uploaded a video of his recording of Vaughan Williams’s Serenade to Music. This work was written to celebrate Wood’s 50 years as a conductor, and features 16 prominent English vocalists of the era. I’ve included pictures of each vocalist as they sing their solo lines:
More of Sir Henry’s recordings are available here on my site. I hope to upload soon a discography of Sir Henry’s recordings.