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JOHN BISHOP (1931-2000)


TREVOR HOLD pays tribute to the music publisher


John Bishop (centre), with Susan Hold and Peter Jacobs in December 1997. Photo (c) 1997 Trevor Hold

The publisher, John Bishop, died on 5th September 2000 after a brief illness. To those of us who value such things, John Bishop was Thames Publishing, and Thames Publishing meant British Music. In his passing, British music - composers, performers and listeners - have lost a stalwart, indefatigable champion. I find it hard to imagine that we shall see his like again.

John Bishop was born in Norbury, London, on 4 June 1931. On leaving school he joined the oil company Shell as a journalist and information officer, spending 25 years there before moving to the insurance company Pearl. But music was always his great love, and parallel to his 9-to-5 job he developed a musical career as a journalist, publisher of music and books, record producer and administrator of musical trusts.

He started Thames Publishing in the late 1960s, initially as a vehicle for the music of his wife, the composer, Betty Roe. But this soon expanded to include other music which he cherished, particularly British music from the first decades of the 20th century which he felt was neglected - neglected mainly because its original publishers had allowed it to go out of print. His aim was to make this music accessible to performers and conductors, and to encourage performances whenever and wherever he could.

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Copyright © 21 September 2000 Trevor Hold, Peterborough, UK




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