Sally Groves (1 October)

For four decades until 2014, Sally Groves was Creative Director at the music publisher Schott, looking after the professional interests of composers such as Gerald Barry, Hans Werner Henze, Ligeti, Steve Martland, Takemitsu, Tippett and Mark-Anthony Turnage. She was responsible for Schott’s Music in our Time catalogue. She was the Chair of the trustees of the British Music Information Centre, a director of the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and a governor of the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.

A publisher, she says, needs to be a mixture of confidante and cheerleader. Composers, she says, ‘occupy a very lonely business, and if you don’t believe in them and listen to them, then who’s going to? I don’t believe that composers are nearly as prima donna-ish as most artists, judging from my friends in the agents world’. Her brother, the agent Jonathan Groves who shares the Putney platform with her this evening, will no doubt have his own view on the matter, and both will also share with us recollections of their father the conductor Sir Charles Groves. Retirement gives Sally the time for her two passions: playing chamber music (‘I’m an eternal second fiddle’) and – occasionally – digging her son’s allotment.

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