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A History of the Society in 12 Images

Founded in 1946, and presenting its first concert on St Valentine’s Day of that year (including Bach, Elgar and Britten’s Simple Symphony), the Oxted & Limpsfield Music Society has always been at the heart of the community’s cultural life.

Sir Adrian Boult, principal conductor of the BBC SO and London Philharmonic Orchestra, lived nearby in Woldingham and became the Society’s first President in 1951.

The acclaimed composer and pianist Benjamin Britten (on right) and his partner, tenor Peter Pears gave a recital including songs by Purcell, Blow, Schubert and his own Winter Words on 27 March 1957.

Eileen Joyce, one of the key figures in the Society’s early years, was a noted Australian concert pianist who was very popular in Britain. She lived in Westerham before later moving to Limpsfield. She became the Society’s President in 1960.

Adrian Boult
Peter Pears and Benjamin Britten
Eileen Joyce 2

The 17-year-old cello prodigy Jacqueline du Pré, on the cusp of a stellar career, gave a recital accompanied by her sister Iris, including Beethoven’s D major Cello Sonata and a solo Bach suite for the Society in 1962.

The pianist John Lill performed many times for the Society from 1965 onwards, at Eileen Joyce’s memorial in 1991 and most recently in 2007.

World-renowned Spanish harpist Marisa Robles brought her Robles Trio to the Society on 29 November 1973 to play music for flute, harp and viola.

Jacqueline du Pre
John Lill
Marisa Robles
Yehudi Menuhin SO
Emma Johnson
Takacs Quartet

The legendary Hungarian Takács Quartet brought their inimitable central European style to the Society in the 1983/84 and 1984/85 seasons.

The clarinettist Emma Johnson “a great favourite with local audiences” gave a concert for the Society during the 1990/91 season and was invited back by popular demand in 1995/96.

The talented young musicians of the Surrey-based Yehudi Menuhin School Orchestra thrilled our audience at a concert on 18 March 2006.

Imogen Cooper

The pianist Imogen Cooper was appointed the Society’s President in 2007. She first gave a recital for us in 2005 and – continuing in her role – has returned to delight audiences many times since.

Roderick Williams

The internationally fêted tenor Roderick Williams gave a moving recital of songs on 1 August 2014 to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of World War I.

Bawtree Hall exterior

After years at St Michael’s School, the Society now has the wonderful Bawtree Hall of Hazelwood School – which opened in 2016 – as its main venue.

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