Sorabji Resource Site (SRS)

Friends and Acquaintances

This page lists, in order of generation, Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji’s friends and acquaintances, including his dedicatees, whose names are followed by a bullet (). They are grouped into four categories:

Within each of the first three groups the names are divided into categories according to their origin (English, Scottish, European, and American and Canadian); the names are arranged in chronological order of birth. The women are divided into “Acquaintances” and “Epistolary Relationship” and are listed in alphabetical order.

Biographical notes for many of the individuals listed below are provided on a separate page. See also a list of links to the websites of societies devoted to well-known figures who were part of Sorabji’s entourage.

Previous Generation


Trew, Charles A. (1855-1929)•
Ellis, Henry Havelock (1859-1939)•
Edroff-Smith, Emily (1867-1953)•
Newman, Ernest (1868-1959)
Orage, Alfred Richard (1873-1934)
Malloch, George Reston (1875-1953)
Ireland, John (1879-1962)•


Edward, Dr. (still living in 1914) {mathematics tutor]
Usher, Dr. (d. 1920) {Latin teacher}
Osterreid, Ludmille (b. 1855; still living in late 1921) {German teacher}
Marchesi, Blanche (1863-1940)•
Busoni, Ferruccio (1866-1924)•
Viñes, Ricardo (1875-1943)
Cortot, Alfred (1877-1962)•
Kindler, Frida (1879-1964)

More or Less the Same Age


Collins, A. J. (Alfred James) (b. ca. 1873) {copyist}
Chapman, Ernest (1914-79)
Davey, Frank G. (d. 1961 at the earliest)•
Brittain, Richard Henry (1876-1957)•
Richards, George (1895-1974)•
Datch, (Frederick) George Bethell (1893-1976)
Byngham, Dion (1896-1990)
Ludovici, Anthony (1882-1971)
Bowen, York (1884-1961)•
Davies, E. Emlyn (1885-1951)•
Mairet, Philippe Auguste (1886-1975)
Peterkin, Norman (1886-1982)•
Blom, Eric (1888-1959)
Williams, Christopher à Becket (1890-1956)•
Cooper, H. James (1902-57)•
Lorenz, Robert (1891-1945)
Rowley, Alec (1892-1958)
Sitwell, Sir Osbert (1892-1969)
Heseltine, Philip (1894-1930)•
Gray, Cecil (1895-1931)
Sitwell, Sir Sacheverell (1897-1988)•
Marrot, Vincent (1898-1953)•
Bromage, Bernard (1899-1957)•
Ashworth, Edward Clarke (1903-79)•
Best, Reginald Norman (1909-88)•
Jenkins, Theodore (1900 or 1908-1941 or 1981)•
Vicars, Mervyn (1905-91)•
Rutland, Harold (1900-1977)•
Walton, William (1902-83)
Nason, Edward (1907-76)•
Morland, Harold (1908-99)•
Lightly, Henry (1909-2001)


Scott, Francis George (1880-1958)•
Grieve, Christopher Murray (1892-1978)•
Chisholm, Erik (1904-65)•


Petri, Egon (1881-1962)•
Dieren, Bernard van (1887-1936)
Saurat, Denis (1890-1958)•
Martine, Marthe (née Boutte) (1891-1948)•
McArden, Joy (1893-1952)•

American and Canadian

Brewer, George Mackenzie (1889-1947)
Gray-Fisk, Clinton (1904-61)•

Younger Generation


Holliday, Frank (1912-97)•
Stevens, Bernard (1916-83)
Ewing, Cecil Cameron (1925-2006)
Dean, John (1932-2000) {resident of Swanage with whom Sorabji exchanged letters in the late 1960s}
Procter, Robert William (1945-2005)•
Burton-Page, Anthony (1954-2018)•
Irving, James Duncan (1922-2017)
Solomon, Neil (1931-2015)
Spencer-Bentley, Clive•
Vicars (née Allen), Denise (1918-2013)•


Chisholm, Alastair
Hinton, Alistair•
Stevenson, Ronald (1928-2015) {English-born but a long-time resident of Scotland}•


Solomon, Yonty (1937-2008) {South African, from a family of Lithuanian origin, later a resident of London}•
Madge, Geoffrey Douglas {Australian resident of the Netherlands}•

American and Canadian

Gentieu, Norman P. (1914-2009)•
Garvelmann, Donald M. (1927-2001)•
Derus, Kenneth•
Habermann, Michael•
Rapoport, Paul•


Sorabji had very few contacts with women, and these were often limited to the wives of his friends. In most cases, his female correspondents are represented in his papers by a single letter. Of his few female relatives, it is his mother who stands out as the most sustained female presence he ever had.

As in the previous sections, the names of Sorabji’s dedicatees are followed by a bullet (). This list of female acquaintances is most likely incomplete. Brief identifications follow in all but a few cases of little-known people.


Brodie, Diana (1911-84) {wife of Erik Chisholm}
Edroff-Smith, Emily (1867-1953)•
Holliday (née Brisslow?), Brenda (1910?-87) {wife of Frank Holliday)}
Martine (née Boutte), Marthe (1891-1948)• {French soprano who gave the first performance of the Trois poèmes pour chant et piano (1918, 1919; 9 pp.)}
Peterkin (née Lang), Maria Theresa (1888-1961) {wife of Norman Peterkin}
Vicars (née Allen), Denise (1918-2013)• {wife of Mervyn Vicars}


Challans, Eileen Mary (pseud. Mary Renault; 1905-83) {British novelist known for historical novels}
Drewett, Norah (1882-1960) {English pianist who was supposed to take part in the first performance of the Quintet no. 1 for Piano and Quartet of Stringed Instruments (1919-20; 72 pp.) with the Hart House String Quartet}
Haidar, Musbah, Her Royal Princess (1908-77) {author of a book entitled Arabesque (London: Hutchinson, 1944)}
Kaan, Marie Luise
Karhoff-Tate, Judith {probably the author, with Roland Hill, of Englands Süden (Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag, 1992)}
Kay, R. H.
Keun, Odette (1888-1978) {author of Continental Stakes, and lover of H. G. Wells between 1924 and 1933}
Khurody, Khursheed N. {music teacher in Mumbai who wrote to Sorabji during her teenage years}
Kindler, Frida (1879-1964) {wife of Bernard van Dieren}
Martin, Norah Eileen Holt
McArden, Joy (1893-1952)•
Marchesi, Blanche (1863-1940)•
Newmarch, Rosa (1857-1940) {English writer on music and champion of Russian music}
Sitwell, Edith (1887-1964) {member of the Sitwell trio of writers}
Spawforth, Eleanor Mary (1896-1988)

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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