The Berkhamsted Music Society was formed in 1954 by Peter Stevenson, Daphne Heal and their musical friends at an inaugural meeting in the School Hall of Berkhamsted School for Girls. Peter Stevenson was elected Chairman at that meeting, and Daphne Heal as Vice-Chairman, Joyce Stevenson as Secretary and Christopher Morris as Treasurer. The pianist Benno Moiseiwitsch consented to be President and gave two unforgettable recitals before his death in 1963.
The following year the distinguished local composer and musician Antony Hopkins honoured the society by becoming its President, a post he held up to the date of his death in May 2014. Antony Hopkins provided magnificent support over the years giving lecture recitals which were enjoyed by a large audience. He gave his latest talk as recently as 2005.
In 2017 the society welcomed Paul Lewis CBE www.paullewispiano.co.uk as its new President. Paul is internationally regarded as one of the leading musicians of his generation. His cycles of core piano works by Beethoven and Schubert have received unanimous critical and public acclaim worldwide.
The society has enjoyed programmes from many famous artists over the years – these include Natalie Clein, Lesley Garrett, Steven Isserlis, Emma Kirkby, Freddy Kempf, Stephen Kovacevich, John Lenehan, John Lill, Tasmin Little, Lawrence Power, Raphael Wallfisch, Kathryn Stott and innumerable string quartets and other recitalists.
Another highly valued feature of the society is the excursions to venues in London to hear orchestral concerts or visits to other venues such as Oxford and Milton Keynes. These start from Berkhamsted in comfortable coaches and are usually planned for 4-6 times a year.
Paul Lewis CBE