Novello New Year!

Well, what a brilliant Christmas and New Year it has been for Ivor Novello! They say everything comes in threes, and it seem that is exactly what happened.

The BBC Radio 3 Composer of the Week programmes dedicated to Ivor were brilliant with lots of new recording by the BBC Concert Orchestra, solos by @SimonLepper and @KittyWhateley and recordings by the lovely Marylin Hill Smith to name a few. There were also brilliant sections with Billy Differ (Operations Manager for Sir Cameron Mackintosh) in Novello’s old flat, and also with Rosy Runciman who is the archivist for Sir Cameron Mackintosh.

One listener said: “Sensitively researched life story combined with location insights AND the music – worth the @BBC licence fee on its own.” Another said: “@BBCRadio3 @DSCAuthor “Ivor Novello” Awarded the best @BBCRadio3 programme of the year!”

In addition to this I was delighted to release a 10th Anniversary edition of my Novello biography to tie in with the BBC Radio 3 Composer of the Week series. As I was guest of the week for the programmes, it seemed fitting and timely.  ‘Ivor Novello – In Search of Ruritania‘  now available in both paperback and Kindle editions. Excellent and encouraging 5 star reviews!

January sees the publication of The Oxford Handbook of The British Musical – So thrilled that my Ivor Novello biography – In Search of Ruritania – informed this study and is listed in the reference and bibliography section. Thanks to Stewart Nicholls who wrote the section on operetta that includes Novello.


I came across this portrait of Novello by Emile Veresmith. It was painted in 1924 and captures him in quite a dark way – I wonder if the artist caught the melancholy and depression that so haunted Novello at times. Food for thought!


Well that’s all for now. Not sure if/when the recordings made by the BBC Concert orchestra will be available – but for those who have asked I will let you know if I hear anything from the BBC regarding this. Thank you to Donald Macleod and producer Luke Whitlock at BBC Radio 3.

Happy New Year to all –