The Society for the Promotion of New Music (SPNM), originally named The Committee for the Promotion of New Music, was founded January 1943 in London by Francis Chagrin, to promote the creation and performance of new music by young and unestablished composers. Since 1993 it had awarded the annual Butterworth Prize for Composition. In 2008, it merged with three other networks to form Sound and Music.
The Society for the Promotion of New Music was founded January 1943 in London by Francis Chagrin, to promote the creation, performance and appreciation of new music by young and unestablished composers. It was a membership organization which sought to find the best new composers and to help support their careers, especially in the UK.
Ralph Vaughan Williams agreed to become president of the newly formed Committee for the Promotion of New Music, with the proviso that it "avoid all cliques [and] give a welcome to all good work in whatever style or school". Other committee members were Arthur Bliss as vice-president, and Francis Chagrin described as the committee's "organizer and chief moving spirit". Its initial activities were subsidized by the wartime Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts and by private donations from Vaughan Williams and Bliss among others, and remained the basis for much of its subsequent work: "recommended lists" of works were drawn up, which resulted in increased broadcasting by the BBC and in several recordings of "recommended list" works, issued in the 1940s on 78rpm discs by Decca.
By October 1951, a draft amended Constitution had been prepared, and on 27 May 1952 the Society for the Promotion of New Music met for its inaugural meeting. From 1993 onward SPNM awarded the annual Butterworth Prize for Composition.
On 1 October 2008, the SPNM merged with the British Music Information Centre (BMIC), the Contemporary Music Network and the Sonic Arts Network, forming a new organisation to promote contemporary music in the UK called Sound and Music.
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