1956 in British music
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|1950s in music in the UK|
|Summaries and charts
1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954
1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959
|Top 10/12 singles|
|1952, 1953, 1954
1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959
This is a summary of 1956 in music in the United Kingdom, including the official charts from that year.
- February – Release of Shirley Bassey's first single, Burn My Candle (At Both Ends).
- 8 May - Benjamin Britten's opera Gloriana, written in 1953, is given its US première in Cincinnati, in concert form, conducted by Josef Krips.
- 14 May - Ralph Vaughan Williams's Symphony No. 8 receives its first London performance.
- June - Arthur Bliss heads the first delegation by British musicians to the Soviet Union since the end of the Second World War. The party included the violinist Alfredo Campoli, the oboist Léon Goossens, the soprano Jennifer Vyvyan and the pianist Gerald Moore.
- 13 November – The first of a series of Hoffnung Music Festival Concerts takes place at the Royal Festival Hall, in London.
- 28 November – Yoko Ono, recently divorced from Japanese composer Toshi Ichiyanagi, marries Anthony Cox.
- 31 December - Flanders and Swann launch their two-man revue At the Drop of a Hat.
Classical music: new works
- Arthur Bliss –
- Edinburgh Overture, for orchestra
- Seek the Lord (anthem), SATB choir and organ
- Reginald Smith Brindle – El Polifemo de Oro
- Benjamin Britten –
- Antiphon, Op. 56b, for SATB choir and organ
- The Prince of the Pagodas, Op. 57 (ballet in three acts)
- Peter Maxwell Davies – Sonata for Clarinet and Piano
- Stephen Dodgson - Concerto No. 1 for Guitar and Orchestra
- Cecil Armstrong Gibbs – Threnody
- Gordon Jacob
- Concerto No. 2 for Oboe and Orchestra
- Sextet for Piano and Wind Quintet
- Trio for Violin, Cello, and Piano
- Variations on "Annie Laurie", for two piccolos, two contrabass clarinets, hecklephone, two contrabassoons, serpent, contrabass serpent, subcontrabass tuba, harmonium, and hurdy-gurdy
- Michael Tippett –
- Bonny at Morn (arr. of Northumbrian folksong), unison choir and three recorders
- Songs from the British Isles (4), SATB choir
- Ralph Vaughan Williams –
- A Choral Flourish (text from the Psalms), for SATB choir, two trumpets, and organ
- God Bless the Master of This House, for SATB choir
- Preludes on Welsh Folksongs (2), for organ
- Symphony No. 8
- A Vision of Aeroplanes (text: N. Ezekiel), motet for SATB choir and organ
- William Walton – Cello Concerto
- Malcolm Arnold – The Open Window, Op. 56 (opera in one act, libretto by S. Gilliat, after Saki),
Film and Incidental music
- Malcolm Arnold - 1984, starring Edmond O'Brien, Donald Pleasence, Jan Sterling and Michael Redgrave.
- Brian Easdale - The Battle of the River Plate by director-writer team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, starring John Gregson, Anthony Quayle and Peter Finch.
- Edward Williams - Doublecross directed by Anthony Squire, starring Donald Houston, Fay Compton and William Hartnell.
- The Good Companions, starring Eric Portman
- It's a Wonderful World, starring George Cole and featuring Ted Heath and Dennis Lotis
- It's Great to Be Young, starring John Mills and Cecil Parker
- Stars in Your Eyes, starring Nat Jackley and Patricia Kirkwood
- A Touch of the Sun, starring Frankie Howerd, Ruby Murray and Dennis Price
- 17 January – Paul Young, singer
- 25 January – Andy Cox (The Beat, Fine Young Cannibals)
- 31 January – Johnny Rotten, singer (Sex Pistols)
- 12 February – Brian Robertson, Scottish guitarist and songwriter (Thin Lizzy, Motörhead, and Wild Horses)
- 13 February – Peter Hook, singer and bass player (Joy Division, New Order, Freebass, Revenge, and Monaco)
- 3 June - Lynne Dawson, operatic soprano
- 5 July
- 15 July – Ian Curtis, vocalist (Joy Division) (died 1980))
- 19 July –Nikki Sudden, English singer-songwriter and guitarist (Jacobites and Swell Maps) (d. 2006)
- 20 July
- 27 August – Glen Matlock, guitarist (Sex Pistols)
- 12 September - B. A. Robertson, singer-songwriter
- 27 October - Hazell Dean, singer
- 17 November - Philip Grange, composer
- 15 December - William Cauty, composter
- 19 December - Jimmy Cauty, artist and musician
- 28 December – Nigel Kennedy, violinist
- 16 March – Joseph John Richards, conductor, composer and music teacher, 77
- 9 April - Jack Little, composer, actor, singer and songwriter
- 16 May - Orlando Morgan, music teacher, composer and musicologist, 91
- 18 July - Violet Loraine, musical theatre star, 69
- 6 September - Felix Borowski, British/American composer and teacher, 84
- 27 September – Gerald Finzi, composer, 55 ("severe brain inflammation")
- 18 October - Harry Parry, jazz clarinetist and bandleader, 44
- 8 December - Edgar Bainton, church music composer, 76
- 9 December - Ethel Scarborough, pianist and composer, 76
- date unknown - George Oldroyd, organist and composer
Ivor Novello Awards
- Kendall, Alan. The Chronicle of Classical Music. Thames & Hudson, 2000: p. 240
- Bliss, Arthur, "A musical embassy to the USSR – Russia through English eyes", The Times, 1 June 1956, p. 11
- Music Web International. Accessed 15 April 2013
- "The Guide to Musical Theatre". The Guide to Musical Theatre. 1956-11-27. Retrieved 2012-09-13.
- Davies, John; Jenkins, Nigel; Menna, Baines; Lynch, Peredur I., eds. (2008). The Welsh Academy Encyclopaedia of Wales. Cardiff: University of Wales Press. p. 651. ISBN 978-0-7083-1953-6.
- "The Seiber Centenary: 2005 and Beyond", Suppressed Music, 9 August 2005.