1955 in British music
|1950s in music in the UK|
|Top 10 singles|
This is a summary of 1955 in music of all genres in the United Kingdom.
- 2 January - Michael Tippett's 50th birthday is celebrated in a concert held at Morley College, in which Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears perform.
- 27 January - Premiere of Michael Tippett's opera The Midsummer Marriage at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in London, conducted by John Pritchard, with designs by Barbara Hepworth and choreography by John Cranko; it arouses controversy.
- May - The Ivor Novello Awards are launched.
- 4 May - The bass-baritone Peter Dawson records Albert Arlen's song Clancy of the Overflow (to Banjo Paterson's poem) with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Charles Mackerras. It is 73-year-old Dawson's last recording.
- 11 May - Arthur Bliss's Violin Concerto receives its first performance in London.
- July - Steuart Wilson, a retired singer and musical administrator, launches an outspoken campaign against "homosexuality in British music", saying: "The influence of perverts in the world of music has grown beyond all measure. If it is not curbed soon, Covent Garden and other precious musical heritages could suffer irreparable harm."
- 29 November - Juan José Castro conducts the UK premiere of Carlos Chávez's Third Symphony at the Maida Vale Studios with the London Symphony Orchestra.
- Late November - Lonnie Donegan's 1954 skiffle recording of Rock Island Line is released: it becomes a major hit in 1956.
- December - The Temperance Seven is founded, with three members.
- 8 December - Sir Thomas Beecham is presented with the Order of the White Rose of Finland.
- 13 December - Sir Arthur Bliss's orchestral Meditations on a Theme by John Blow is premiered in Birmingham Town Hall.
Classical music: new works
- Malcolm Arnold – Tam O'Shanter Overture
- Arthur Bliss – Violin Concerto
- Eric Coates – Dambusters March
- Peter Maxwell Davies – Trumpet Sonata
- Gerald Finzi – Cello Concerto
- Michael Tippett – Sonata for Four Horns
- Ernst Toch – Symphony No. 3
- Ralph Vaughan Williams – Symphony No. 8
- William Walton – Johannesburg Festival Overture
- William Alwyn - Farewell Companions (for radio)
- Thea Musgrave - The Abbot of Drimock
- Michael Tippett - The Midsummer Marriage
Film and Incidental music
- John Addison - The Cockleshell Heroes, starring Trevor Howard
- Malcolm Arnold - The Deep Blue Sea, starring Vivien Leigh and Kenneth More
- Francis Chagrin - The Colditz Story directed by Guy Hamilton, starring John Mills and Eric Portman
- Eric Coates - The Dam Busters, starring Michael Redgrave
- Benjamin Frankel - The End of the Affair, starring Deborah Kerr, Van Johnson, Peter Cushing and John Mills
- William Walton - Richard III directed by and starring Laurence Olivier
- 19 December - Cranks, a revue by John Cranko with music by John Addison, opens at the New Watergate Theatre, London.
- Wild Thyme, with music by Donald Swann and lyrics by Philip Guard, starring Betty Paul and Denis Quilley
- 3 January – Helen O'Hara, vocalist
- 4 January – Mark Hollis, singer-songwriter
- 19 January
- 25 January – Terry Chimes, drummer (The Clash)
- 23 February – Howard Jones, singer-songwriter
- 19 March – Paul Edwards, composer of choral music
- 5 April – Janice Long, radio disc jockey
- 9 April – Bob Chilcott, choral composer, conductor, and singer
- 10 April – Lesley Garrett, operatic soprano
- 17 April – Pete Shelley, guitarist and vocalist (Buzzcocks)
- 22 May – Jerry Dammers, ska musician and songwriter
- 30 May – Topper Headon (The Clash)
- 26 June – Mick Jones, English singer-songwriter and guitarist (The Clash, Big Audio Dynamite, General Public, Carbon/Silicon, and London SS)
- 18 July – Terry Chambers, English drummer (XTC and Dragon)
- 20 July – Jem Finer, English banjo player and songwriter (The Pogues)
- 30 July – Christopher Warren-Green, violinist and conductor
- 1 September – Bruce Foxton, guitarist (The Jam)
- 3 September – Steve Jones, guitarist (Sex Pistols)
- 14 September – William Jackson, harpist and composer
- 30 September – Frankie Kennedy, folk musician (died 1994)
- 2 October – Philip Oakey, singer-songwriter
- 12 November – Les McKeown, singer (Bay City Rollers)
- 30 November – Billy Idol, singer
- 6 December – Edward Tudor-Pole, singer and TV presenter
- 15 December – Paul Simonon, bassist (The Clash)
- 31 December – Tom Morton, musician, broadcaster and writer
- 10 January – Annette Mills, partner of "Muffin the Mule", 60
- 9 March – Louie René, singer and actress, 83
- 12 April – W. H. Anderson, composer, 72
- 4 July – Ruth Vincent, operatic soprano, 78
- 13 August – Florence Easton, soprano, 72
- 14 October – Harry Parr-Davies, composer and songwriter, 41 (perforated ulcer)
- 30 October – Harry Dean, British-born Canadian conductor, pianist, organist and music educator, 76
- 14 November – Carl Denton, Yorkshire-born American conductor, 80
- 21 December – Gladys Ripley, operatic contralto, 47
- Reed (2008): p. 304.
- Reed (2008): p. 287.
- Gloag, Kenneth (2013). "Tippett's operatic world: from The Midsummer Marriage to New Year". In Gloag, Kenneth; Jones, Nicholas. The Cambridge Companion to Michael Tippett. Cambridge University Press. pp. 230–31. ISBN 978-1-107-60613-5.
- optus net
- Kendall, Alan (2000). The Chronicle of Classical Music. London: Thames & Hudson. p. 240.
- The People, 24 July 1955, cited in Mitchell (2004), p. 7.
- Lucas, John (2008). Thomas Beecham: An Obsession with Music. Woodbridge: Boydell Press. ISBN 978-1-84383-402-1. p. 330.
- Burn, Andrew (2004). "Bliss, Sir Arthur Edward Drummond (1891–1975)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/30827. Retrieved 2015-01-06. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
- "Eric Coates". Boosey & Hawkes.
- "Cranks". The Guide to Musical Theatre. 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-26.
- Walford, Rex (2004). "Davies, Harry Parr (1914–1955)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/75739. Retrieved 2011-08-21.
- Reed, Philip; Cooke, Mervyn; Mitchell, Donald (eds) (2004). Letters from a Life: Selected Letters of Benjamin Britten, Vol 3, 1946–1951. London: Faber and Faber. ISBN 057122282X.
- Reed, Philip; Cooke, Mervyn; Mitchell, Donald (eds) (2008). Letters from a Life: Selected Letters of Benjamin Britten, Vol 4, 1952–1957. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press. ISBN 9781843833826.