Faber Music is sad to announce the death of Dr Donald Mitchell CBE, our inspirational founder. Donald was an extraordinary person whose expertise and achievements stretched far and wide and established him as a world expert in the music of Mahler and, of course, Britten. The founding of Faber Music in 1965 was one of his most profound achievements, establishing a support for many of the UK’s leading composers. The company would not be as it is today without his vision and energy. He was the company’s first Managing Director, then Chairman from 1977 to 1988, after which he assumed the role of President until 1995.
Sally Cavender, Performance Music Director and Vice-Chairman of Faber Music said:
‘Donald always espoused Britten’s view of what a publisher should be, a vision that we have endeavoured to maintain over the past 50 years, and one that encompassed primarily the desire to create an environment that a composer could flourish in, a determination that standards of editorial and production should be exemplary and that the look and design of a cover should be distinctive. Solidarity with the composers he signed up was a given, and a mark of this is the long relationships that Faber has maintained with such figures as Peter Sculthorpe, Malcolm Arnold, George Benjamin, Oliver Knussen, Jonathan Harvey, Colin and David Matthews.
We will always remember Donald as an outstanding individual who whilst being a maverick at heart, managed nevertheless to Chair the PRS for many years, and survive in a world that became increasingly corporate. He will be remembered also for his sometimes wicked sense of humour and his wide-ranging humanity.’
Richard King, CEO of Faber Music said:
‘As Faber Music’s founder and its first Managing Director, seeing the company through its youth and adolescence, Donald Mitchell contributed immeasurably to the world of classical contemporary and serious educational music publishing. He was an unfailing champion and supporter of the generations which followed him at the company, including myself. Faber Music’s unique DNA – quality, integrity and a fiercely independent, maverick spirit – is epitomised through the extraordinary list of house composers and the single-minded spirit with which he built the business. It is on his shoulders that we now stand, and we owe him a very great deal.’