Charles Avison, Ltd.

Typical cover published by Cary
Typical cover "Agents Breitkopf"



This was a short-lived but distinguished publishing venture in the pre-1st World War publishing boom. The Society of British Composers wanted to promote new British music and so started its own imprint named after the 18th century composer Charles Avison (1709-1770). They were disappointed that serious young British composers could not find a publisher among the major ones such as Novello and Schott.

Their catalog is a roll call of the major names of the period: Holst, Vaughan Williams, Gardiner, Holbrooke, Bowen, Dale, Bax, Mackenzie and Hurlstone. There were at least 73 items, mainly chamber music, published between 1905 and 1918. The early items were marked Agents Breitkopf (Bax trio 1907) the middle period ones (Bowen 1910) were published by Novello and finally Cary took them over (Holbrooke 4 Mezzotints Op.55). The Avison name disappears after 1918, replaced by Novello or Cary. Incidentally, their cover design was used by another short-lived publisher, The Anglo-French Music Co. (1915-1925).


Imprints, Addresses, Agencies



Plate Numbers

Avison's plate numbers appear to have been issued in a fairly regular chronological fashion and appear with the prefix Avison Ed. Dates in italics are estimated.

Plate Composer Work Year
01 Matthay Piano Quartet in One Movement, Op.20 1906
03 Dale Piano Sonata, Op.1 1906
06 Bowen Miniature Suite, Op.14 1906
025 Mackenzie Suite for Violin and Orchestra, Op.68 1907
039 Gardiner String Quartet in One Movement 1907
040 Bax Trio in One Movement, GP 87 1907
73 Hurlstone Fantasie Variations on a Swedish Air 1910
Holbrooke 4 Mezzotints for clarinet and piano [from Op.55] 1918

Sources Consulted


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