English firm of organ builders. The firm was founded in 1843 by James Alderson Forster (b Hull, c1818; dUpper Norwood, Surrey, 15 May 1886) and Joseph King Andrews (b London, c1820; d Hull, 5 Nov 1896), both of whom had been apprenticed to J.C. Bishop (seeBishop). Working from premises in Charlotte Street, Hull, they built large numbers of organs for churches and chapels in the north of England, and further afield.
Their earlier instruments had classical specifications, low wind pressures and long compasses down to G'; C-compasses began to be used after 1850. Edmund Schulze influenced the firm’s work; Forster and Andrews visited him often while he was erecting the Doncaster Parish Church organ, and he recommended them for work he had declined at the Kinnaird Hall, Dundee. It is said that they employed a German flue voicer, one Vogel; the German influence may be at least partly responsible for the vigour and brilliance of their best work compared to the typical mid-Victorian English organ. Typical large schemes of this period included All Souls, Halifax (1868), West Bromwich Town Hall (1878) and Holy Trinity, Southport (1880).
James Forster (1847–1925) took over management of the business on his father’s death, by which time it had 120 employees. In 1897 he engaged Philip Selfe as manager. Selfe introduced pneumatic actions (little used until then) and modernised the firm’s conservative tonal schemes. He became a partner and assumed direction when Forster retired in 1904. He was responsible for ambitious new instruments for the Queen’s Hall (1907) and the City Hall, Hull (1911). The business was bought by John Christie in 1924 and finally absorbed by Hill, Norman & Beard in 1956.
L.Elvin: Forster and Andrews, Organ Builders, 1843–1956 (Lincoln, 1968)
L.Elvin: Forster and Andrews: their Barrel, Chamber and Small Church Organs (Lincoln, 1976)
N.J.Thistlethwaite: The Making of the Victorian Organ (Cambridge, 1990)
GUY OLDHAM/NICHOLAS THISTLETHWAITE
Forster Virginal Book [Will Forster's Virginal Book]
(GB-Lbl R.M.24.d.3). SeeSources of keyboard music to 1660, §2(vi).
English firm of publishers and music and instrument dealers. The brothers Henry Forsyth (d July 1885) and James Forsyth (b 1833; dManchester, 2 Jan 1907) were the third generation of Forsyths to work for Broadwood; they started their own business in Manchester in 1857, selling, hiring, tuning and repairing pianos. They published music from 1858, but this activity became important only in 1873, when they produced the first numbers of Charles Hallé’s Practical Pianoforte School and opened a London publishing house at Oxford Circus. Their list grew to include works by Stephen Heller (a friend of Hallé), Berlioz, Stanford and Delius. The firm also shared significantly in the management of leading concerts in Manchester, in particular the Hallé concerts. In 1901 the firm became a limited company; it now sells pianos, orchestral and school instruments, sheet music by all publishers and records. James’s son Algernon Forsyth (b 28 Oct 1863; d Manchester, 31 October 1961) succeeded his father. The firm remains a family business, and concentrates on educational music: Hallé’s tutor was followed by the Walter Carroll piano albums, the most famous of which, Scenes at a Farm, was unique in its day for the use of rhymes to stimulate the child’s musical imagination.
The Forsyth Collection of antique instruments, keyboard, strings and woodwind, although it does not belong to the firm, is housed at its Manchester premises.
List of Pianofortes … Exhibited by John Broadwood and Sons, International Exhibition, London, 1862 (London, 1862)
(b Greenwich, 30 Nov 1870; dNew York, 7 Dec 1941). English writer on music and composer. He studied at Edinburgh University and then at RCM with C.H.H. Parry and C.V. Stanford. After playing the viola in the Queen’s Hall Orchestra for some years, he moved to New York in 1914, and worked for the music publishers H.W. Gray until his death. His compositions include two operas (Westward Ho! and Cinderella), two masses, a viola concerto, choral, orchestral and chamber works; he is chiefly remembered, however, for his writings, particularly his orchestration manual, in its time the most comprehensive treatment of the subject.
Music and Nationalism: a Study of English Opera (London, 1911)
with C.V. Stanford: A History of Music (London, 1916/R, 2/1925/R)
Choral Orchestration (London, 1920)
A Digest of Music History (St Louis, 1923, rev. 2/1938 by E. C. Krohn, rev. 3/1952 by M. Stellborn)
Forsyth, Malcolm (Denis)
(b Pietermaritzburg, 8 Dec 1936). Canadian composer and trombonist of South African origin. He earned undergraduate and postgraduate degrees from the University of Cape Town. After playing the trombone with the Cape Town SO (1961–7), he emigrated to Canada in 1968 where he joined the music faculty at the University of Alberta. He continued his orchestral playing with the Edmonton SO (1968–71, 1973–80). His first major composition, Sketches from Natal (1970), is strongly influenced by the African melodies and rhythms that surrounded him as a youth. Other works including the Symphony no.1 (1972), Music for Mouths, Marimba, Mbira and Roto-Toms (1973), African Ode (1981–7) and ‘Chopi’, the third movement of Tre toccate (1987), share similar characteristics. Atayoskewin (1984), however, evokes the atmosphere of his adopted homeland, the Canadian North. A prominent feature of his style is the intricate manipulation of intervallic cells, orchestral textures and rhythmic patterns derived from African and popular musics. Other important aspects of his work are an appreciation of wit and humour revealed in the forms of pastiche and parody and a desire to communicate with a wide audience. The recipient of numerous commissions, Forsyth was recognized as Canadian Composer of the Year in 1989, and has received three Juno awards, for Atayoskewin (1987), Sketches from Natal (1995), and Elektra rising (1998).
Orch: Sketches from Natal, 1970; Sym.no.1, 1972; Pf Conc., 1973–9; Conc. grosso no.1 ‘Sagittarius’, brass qnt, orch, 1975; Conc. grosso no.2 ‘Quinquefid’, brass qnt, orch, 1976–7; Sym. no.2 ‘… a host of nomads …’, 1976; Colour Wheel, band, 1978; African Ode (Sym. no.3), 1981–7; Conc. grosso no.3 ‘The Slapinx’, str qt, orch, 1981; Images of Night, 1982; ukuZalwa, 1983; Atayoskewin, 1984; Songs from the Qu’appelle Valley, band, 1987; Tpt Conc., 1987; Kaleidoscope, band, 1989; Valley of a Thousand Hills, 1989; These Cloud Capp’d Towers, trbn, orch, 1990; Tre vie, sax, orch, 1992; Natal Landscapes, 1993; Elektra rising, vc, chbr orch, 1995; Siyajabula! Rejoice!, 1996
Chbr and solo inst: The Melancholy Clown: a Frippery in Three Flaps, fl/E-cl, B-cl, bn/b cl, 1962–7; The Golyardes’ Grounde, brass qnt, 1972; Qt ’74, 4 trbn, 1974; 4 Pieces, brass qnt, 1976–80; Steps …, va, pf, 1978; Strange Spaces, pf, 1978; Fanfare and 3 Masquerades, hn, ww ens/pf, 1979; Two Gentil Knyghtes, b trbn, tuba, 1979; 6 Episodes after Keats, vn, vc, pf, 1980; Suite for Haydn’s Band, 2 ob, 2 bn, 2 hn, 1980; Rhapsody for 14 Str, 1982; Quintette for Winds or …, 1986; Serenade, str, 1986; 3 toccate, pf, 1987; The Tempest: Duets and Choruses, ob, str qt/qnt, 1990; Breaking Through, sax, pf, 1991; Little Traveller before the Dawn, fl/vn, vc, pf, 1991; Sonata, tpt, pf, 1995
Choral: Music for Mouths, Marimba, Mbira and Roto-Toms (abstract phonics), SATB, perc, 1973; 3 Partsongs (D. Parker, D.G. Rossetti, B. Patten), 1980; 3 Zulu Songs (B.W. Vilakazi), SSA, fl, ob, 1988; Endymion’s Dream (J. Keats), 1993; 3 Love Poems of John Donne, 1994; Northern Journey, female chorus, 1998
Solo: 3 Métis Songs from Saskatchewan (trad.), A, orch/pf, 1975; The Dong with a Luminous Nose (E. Lear), Mez, va, pf, 1979; Canzona, 1v, orch/pf, 1985; Sun Songs (D. Lessing), Mez, orch/pf, 1985; 5 Songs from Atlantic Canada (anon., O.P. Kelland), S, A, orch/pf, 1989; Lines to Fanny Brawne (J. Keats), S, pf, 1991; Evangeline (H. Longfellow), S, tpt, orch/pf, 1993; Je répondrais …, pf, 1997
Principal publishers: E.C. Kerby, BMG Ricordi, BMG Ariola
J.Champagne: ‘Malcolm Forsyth: How to Get High on your own Music’, Canadian Composer, no.99 (1975), 14–20
K.Primos: The Orchestral Works [1968–72] of Malcolm Forsyth (MA thesis, U. of Witwatersrand, 1988)