Sorabji Resource Site (SRS)

Memberships in Societies and Boards

This page lists the societies of which Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji was a member, in chronological order of joining. Data for some of them are imprecise, as he simply stated that he had been a member “for some years”. Dates of resignation, where known, are given in the Comments column. All societies are (or were) based in London unless otherwise stated.

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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 the society founded in 1914 by Edward Carpenter and Havelock Ellis. He consulted the latter on problems relating 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 collector of songs in the Cornish tradition.
193? Society of Authors By 1932 Sorabji had been a member for a number of years. He probably joined at the suggestion of fellow writers 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) on his return from Bombay, where he had gone in 1932 to settle matters connected with his father’s death. In 1953, a few years after his election to life membership, he tendered 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 In the years preceding 1944, Sorabji was for some time a member 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 conduct between consenting adults should no longer be considered a criminal offence.
1957 Royal Stuart Society Sorabji was proposed to membership in this society founded in 1926 by Count Nicolas Tolstoy and 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 urging of Norman Peterkin.
1979 Alkan Society, The Sorabji became 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 urging of Alistair Hinton, Sorabji joined the MCPS on 19 September 1988, as its oldest new member.
Last modified: 2024-03-05
© Marc-André Roberge 2024
Sorabji Resource Site (SRS)
Faculté de musique, Université Laval, Québec

The contents of this website dedicated to the English composer Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji may be freely used for documentary purposes in a research context, provided that due credit is given, but may not be mirrored on any other server. Links to external or third-party websites are not guaranteed to be or remain valid or persistent and their content is not guaranteed to be or remain accurate or appropriate.

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