The Richmond Concert Society gives you the opportunity to hear classical music concerts of a high professional standard in pleasant local settings.
A membership fee is paid once per season, entitling the member to attend any or all of the concerts in the season. Members pay no additional amount for concerts attended. So if you attend nine full-length concerts, your average cost per concert is £5 — hard to beat! There is also a shorter concert after the AGM.
The society is enjoying its 59th season, and is a registered charity (No. 289897).
Muriel Dawson RCS Composition Award
Each year, the society commissions a new piece from a student composer. The new composition is premiered, alongside other works, following our Annual General Meeting in July. Read more
Dr Bill Cook
Sir David Attenborough OM, CH, CVO, CBE, FRS
Dr Philip Brown
The Rt Hon Sir Vince Cable
Rev Alun Glyn-Jones, JP
The Rt Hon the Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
John Lill, CBE
Dr Tania Mathias
Colin Squire, OBE
Maurice Parry-Wingfield – Chairman
Nilda Ginn – Treasurer
Jill Warner – Membership Secretary
Michael Alexiou – General Secretary
Pym Cornish & Frances Bouchier
Margaret Dent & John Usher
Michael Frayn & Claire Tomalin
Stephen & Judy Kane
Maurice & Catherine Parry-Wingfield
Peter & Maureen Payan
Marie Christine Purdy
Roger & Evelyn Richardson
Alan & Lisette Simcock
Tony & Lesley Taylor
HOWARD GREENWOOD, BEM
4 October 1929 – 30 November 2020
Howard Greenwood, who has died aged 91, was awarded, in the Queen’s Birthday Honours of 2019, the BEM for services to music and to the community in Richmond-upon-Thames. This honour was richly deserved as he was heavily involved in many local societies and causes, in particular the Richmond Concert Society. He died peacefully at home with Mon, his wife of 67 years, by his side.
It is as a founder member of the Richmond Concert Society, now in its 59th season, that Howard will always be remembered. Under his leadership the Society has become one of the best concert societies in the country. He was involved with the organisation of the Society from its opening concert in 1962, and in order to save money for the fledgling society he himself played the piano in early concerts. As his ‘day job’ in the City became more stressful, Howard gradually gave up giving piano lessons and concentrated on German lieder. In particular he regularly accompanied the tenor Richard Gandy and the successful international bass-baritone Raimund Herincx. While countless members of the Executive Committee have come and gone over the years, Howard has been a constant presence, taking on the additional role of Chairman from 1966 to 1979. He served continuously as Music Director from the first season until the 48th season when he became Artistic Advisor, a post he held until his death.
Howard used his knowledge of the music world to select the best musicians, whilst at the same time he gained particular satisfaction from giving a helping hand to young musicians at the start of their careers, many of whom have gone on to become distinguished performers. He was also the first to admit when his choice of programme or musicians did not live up to the high standards which members had come to expect. The contacts he maintained from his Guildhall days and beyond, together with his loyalty to friends, meant that when a booked artist could not perform Howard could call up a substitute at very short notice. These skills also helped when sponsorship became an issue, the first sponsors, in the early 1980s, being the company for whom he worked. They have continued sponsorship for nearly 40 years, while other sponsors have also continued for many years. It was Howard who in 1969 invited his friend Sir Andrzej Panufnik to be the first RCS President. On his death in 1991 he was succeeded by his widow, Lady Panufnik, who has been a constant supporter of the Society and remains President to this day.
The continuing success of the Society, with its currently just under 500 members and concerts given by top professional performers, owes everything to the foundation laid by Howard and sustained by him throughout. His enthusiasm was utterly infectious, and he was always around, wearing whilst he was Music Director his trademark green jacket. He was an inspiration to musicians and members alike, and all were made to feel welcome. He always maintained that the members of any society are what makes it, and he was an advocate of keeping the subscription low, so that the Richmond Concert Society should remain open to everyone.
Although it is the RCS which is most closely associated with Howard, he was involved with many other local societies and causes. He was adept at making connections between his various interests work for the good of the community, and believed that friendship was a major factor in the success of any organisation. On retirement from the City in 1989 he took up the chairmanship of Richmond upon Thames Arts Council, later to become Arts Richmond. He had previously been involved with this organisation in its earliest years in the 1960s but as his responsibilities in the City increased he had resigned, not without regret. He was probably the last surviving of the original members, and was proud to be asked to be joint President, with Sara Burn Edwards, in 2016, its 50th year. He also became a lifelong Patron.
Through his chairmanship of Richmond upon Thames Arts Council Howard ran the youth orchestra, and later became a Trustee of the newly formed Richmond Music Trust, which continues to work with schools in the borough. The nurturing of young musicians was always a cause close to his heart, and he worked tirelessly on their behalf. Local issues in general, particularly those involving Twickenham, were also always an important part of Howard’s life. He spent six years as Chairman of the Twickenham Town Committee. He also served as Chairman on the RFU Community Committee, during which time he helped to initiate a ballot for local residents which ensured that tickets for important rugby matches were made available to them.
It is certainly true to say that the local community, for which he worked with great energy for so many years, owes Howard Greenwood a great debt of gratitude.
The above obituary appeared in the Twickenham & Richmond Tribune on 25 December 2020.