Bruno Turner is a British musicologist, choral conductor, broadcaster, publisher and businessman.
The son of a motor spares magnate, Turner went on holiday to Sweden shortly after the Second World War. Discovering that their wallcovering industry (in effect, wallpaper for commercial premises) was unaffected due to the country's neutral status, Turner realised the potential in post-war England which he rightfully expected would experience a boom in building after the damage it had experienced at the hands of the Luftwaffe. On the spot, he bought vast amounts and had them shipped to England. Despite the fury of his father, Turner proved right in his evaluation and the stock was almost instantly sold out. Upon inheriting the company, Turner fully switched the ailing company from motor spares to wallcovering, thereby saving many jobs in a depressed part of London. Furthermore, having experienced a brief spell of unemployment in his youth, Turner sought to create a more humanitarian company where a job would be for life and worked and where redundancy was almost unknown.
With his cashflow secure from Turner Wallcoverings, Bruno also turned his attention to promotion of the arts as a commentator and writer and as a conductor. In 1977 he created Mapa Mundi, a company dedicated to publishing Medieval music, a venture that again proved successful.
Musicologist and conductor
Turner was a Catholic choirmaster until Vatican II, a radio broadcaster since 1958, and active as conductor and speaker. Turner is the founding conductor of Pro Cantione Antiqua of London. Turner has written frequently on early music, performance practice and the rival elements in singing. In the debate on the use of vibrato in renaissance choral music Turner has consistently advocated less vibrato, but not no vibrato. "Counterpoint is only one element in the music, there is expression too and you should allow your voice to be coloured and not sing like an automaton". Turner also writes as a reviewer for Early Music Journal (Oxford University Press).
The 6-LP set 'The Flowering of Renaissance Polyphony' (Geistliche Musik der Renaissance') issued on Deutsche Grammophon Archiv in the late 1970s was influential.
- Ockeghem: Missa pro defunctis / Josquin des Prez - Déploration sur la mort d'Ockeghem. Pro Cantione Antiqua, London dir. Turner, Archiv Produktion 2533 145 [LP]
- Gombert - Josquin - Jheronimus Vinders Pro Cantione Antiqua, London dir. Turner, Archiv Produktion 2533 360 [LP]
- Francisco de Peñalosa. The Complete Motets. Pro Cantione Antiqua. Hyperion.
- Biographical note in contributors' index. Companion to Medieval and Renaissance Music By Tess Knighton, David Fallows p.xix
- B Turner Spanish liturgical hymns: a matter of time 1995
- cited in Steven Eric Plank Choral performance: a guide to historical practice 2004 p21