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Charles Groves (1915 - 1992)

Charles Groves sang in the choir of St Paul’s Cathedral before entering the Royal College of Music to study the piano and organ; while still a student in 1937 he accompanied chorus rehearsals of Brahms’s Ein Deutsches Requiem, conducted by Toscanini. He launched his musical career as a freelance accompanist before swiftly joining the British Broadcasting Corporation as a chorusmaster in 1938, remaining with the BBC until 1951 and holding a sequence of conducting appointments: with the BBC Theatre Orchestra (1942), the BBC Revue Orchestra (1943) and the BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra (1944–1951). Having left the BBC to accept the position of conductor of the Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra, Groves fought to maintain the orchestra when it was threatened with closure, and after it was re-formed as the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, under the aegis of the Western Orchestral Society, he became the orchestra’s first chief conductor.




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