Sorabji Resource Site (SRS)

Memberships in Societies and Boards

This page lists, in chronological order of joining, the societies of which Sorabji was a member. Data on some of them is imprecise, because he simply referred to having been a member “for some years”. Dates of resignation, when known, are given in column Comments. All societies are (or were) based in London unless indicated otherwise.

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Date Society Comments
Date Society Comments
1922? British Society for the Study of Sex Psychology In 1930 Sorabji was still a member of society founded in 1914 by Edward Carpenter and Havelock Ellis. He consulted the latter for problems related to his sexual orientation and dedicated to him his Concerto per pianoforte e piccola orchestra, “Simorg-Anka” [no. 7] (1924; 100 pp.).
1925 Cyclopædic Dictionary of Music, A, 4th ed., ed. Ralph Dunstan (1925) Sorabji is described as the member for India (!) of the editorial board of this encyclopedia published by John Curwen, under whose imprint seven of his works appeared. There is no indication of what Sorabji’s contribution might have been. Ralph Dunstan (1857-1933) was a noted song collector in the Cornish tradition.
193? Society of Authors In 1932 Sorabji had been a member for a number of years. He probably joined at the suggestion of fellow authors of The New Age.
1930 Active Society for the Propagation of Contemporary Music (Glasgow) Sorabji and his mother became members of the ASPCM, which was founded in 1929 by his friend Erik Chisholm, and at whose concerts he performed several of his works.
1934 Incorporated Parsee Association of Europe Sorabji became a member of this association (founded in 1891, now the Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe) following his return from Bombay, where he had travelled to settle matters connected with his father’s death in 1932. In 1953, a few years after having been elected to life membership, he filed his resignation in harsh terms.
1935 Society for Psychical Research Sorabji was a member of this society founded in 1882 during his London years.
194? India League Sorabji, in the years preceding 1944, was a member for some time of this society (founded in 1930) that became the most important of the British groups supporting Indian independence. He resigned as a result of their “licksplitting to the Kremlin”.
194? International Godowsky Society Sorabji was recruited by his friend (and dedicatee of three works) Clinton Gray-Fisk, the Society’s representative for the British Isles, as a member of this society founded by Paul Howard (1875-1953).
1953 Cremation Society of Great Britain, The Sorabji became member no. J19559/12978 on 13 July 1953.
1959 Homosexual Law Reform Society Sorabji joined this society founded in 1958 following the publication of the Report of the Departmental Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution (Wolfenden Report), which recommended that private homosexual behaviour between consenting adults no longer be considered a criminal offence.
1957 Royal Stuart Society Sorabji was proposed by Count Nicolas Tolstoy to membership in this society founded in 1926; he was elected on 25 March 1957.
1976 Performing Right Society In the 1960s the composer (and dedicatee) John Ireland had unsuccessfully encouraged Sorabji to join the PRS, which he finally did at the insistence of Norman Peterkin.
1979 Alkan Society, The Sorabji was named one of the honorary vice-presidents of the Alkan Society (founded in 1977).
1982 Godowsky Society, The (Edinburgh) Harry Winstanley, an Edinburgh civil servant who had founded a Godowsky Society to replace Paul Howard’s association, invited Sorabji to join in April 1982. The composer was listed in The Godowsky Newsletter as a patron, along with Shura Cherkassky and Ronald Stevenson, and as a “Past Patron” after his death.
1988 Mechanical Copyright Protection Society At the insistence of Alistair Hinton, Sorabji joined the MCPS on 19 September 1988, as their oldest new member.
Last modified: 2021-05-21
© Marc-André Roberge 2021
Sorabji Resource Site (SRS)
Faculté de musique, Université Laval, Québec

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