Boosey & Hawkes is an international music company with a long history and a reputation for excellence and innovation.
As well as being the world’s leading specialist classical music publisher, Boosey & Hawkes has a growing roster of
jazz musicians and an expanding division providing music for film, TV and advertising.
1792 John Boosey opens London bookshop
The Boosey & Sons shop in Old Bond Street opens with a lending library.
John Boosey’s grandson Thomas expands the musical side of the business with local favourites and
imported scores by Rossini, Hummel, Donizetti and Verdi
1850 Boosey & Co - purveyor of music and instruments
Thomas Boosey's son John responds to the Victorian appetite for parlour music and provides affordable
editions of the classics. Begins manufacturing wind and brass instruments. 1867 sees the launch of the highly
popular Boosey Ballad Concerts, which run for 70 years with premieres including
Elgar’s Pomp & Circumstance Marches
Delius’s Sea Drift
1865 William Hawkes forms new music company
William Henry Hawkes, Queen Victoria’s head trumpeter, retires from service and joins forces with the French bandmaster Jules Rivière. Their new company in Soho Square specialises in military instruments, accessories and sheet music, trading across the British Empire.
1892 Boosey & Co opens New York office
The new office serves the increasingly active music world in America. Opera stars, instrumental virtuosi and conductors appear regularly at the Metropolitan Opera and the new Carnegie Hall, opened in 1891.
1930 Boosey & Co and Hawkes & Son join forces
Rather than wage a price war, Leslie Boosey and Ralph Hawkes agree to merge the two rival businesses, creating Boosey & Hawkes. International trading links are developed with publishers in Vienna and Paris. To answer the decline in music sales due to the ‘talkies’ the Cavendish recorded music library is founded.
1935-40 Britten, Copland and Bartók sign
Hawkes signs the 22-year-old Benjamin Britten
and the company’s first American composer,
. New contracts are agreed with the Hungarians
and Béla Bartók
the company representing the latter also as a pianist during his USA exile.
1945 Koussevitzky catalogue acquired
Acquiring Serge Koussevitzky's catalogue brings masterworks by Stravinsky
to Boosey & Hawkes.
Also in the 1940s, the company promotes wartime concerts at the Wigmore Hall,
rescues Covent Garden as an operatic venue,
builds upon the premiere of Britten’s
, and signs
2003 Instrument business sold: focus on publishing
With the sale of its instrument division, Boosey & Hawkes recasts itself solely as a publishing company.
To complement its catalogue of leading classical composers, a roster of jazz musicians is built including
and Wynton Marsalis
The new century brings an expansion of music for film, TV and advertising and new initiatives in the digital arena.