The Mátyás Seiber

The Trust was established in 2004 by Julia Seiber Boyd when the centenary of the birth of Matyas Seiber was looming for 2005. Julia was clear the date should be marked, and performances encouraged.
The original Trustees were past Seiber pupils, Hugh Wood (who sadly died earlier this year) and Alan Gibbs. Another original Trustee was Robert Hanson, the music director at Morley College (where Seiber taught part time from 1942 onwards), and Nigel Bonham-Carter and Julia who were all determined that Seiber’s work would get more recognition. The aim was always to get more performances of his work, more CD recordings, more study of his writings and music.

Nicolas Bell, previously Music Curator at the British Library joined the Trustees quite soon, & moved to Cambridge to become Librarian at the Wren Library. The most recent Trustee is Veronica Henderson (cellist) – who has performed Seiber pieces in Cambridge many times.

The music is getting onto CD – the first done in Hungary in 2005, and now number 7 Seiber dedicated CDs and 8/9 compilation discs including Seiber Pieces. Another is on the way with the Seiber film music.

The Trust gets all the Royalties from performances/sheet music sales and the fund is used to pay performance fees, subsidise other concerts, subsidise production of CDs and to give study grants eg for those doing doctoral dissertations needing to use the scores, correspondence and scrap books in the British Library – to whom all the material was donated for safe keeping.

Present Trustees

Julia Seiber Boyd

Julia Seiber Boyd

2004 - Present

Chair of the Trust, Daughter of the composer, She grew up in Caterham, was educated Reigate County School & at Oxford University, staying on to research in Byzantine studies, then practised as a family lawyer until retirement, and has lived in Cambridge since 1979 with husband Simon Boyd an educational publisher
Spurred to organise celebrations for 2005 and 2010, and able to help organize many Cambridge concerts via the medium of the Cambridge Szeged Society (which she also chairs), Julia has also attended Seiber concerts in London, Chatsworth, Freiburg, the Bellinzona Festival, Berlin, Frankfurt, Kecskemèt, Szeged, Budapest, New York & St Louis, Missouri.
Several Cambridge choirs have also been facilitated in visits to Hungary & have performed Seiber works there. The momentum has continued from 2005 and there are now 7 Seiber CDs, another in the pipe line, & about a dozen compilations CDs with a Seiber element (see discography).
After harbouring together old Seiber pupils and enthusiasts, and with the help of Morley College events, the Trust was finally given legal status in 2007.

Nigel Bonham-Carter

2004 - Present

Nigel is now a part-time Consultant at Messrs. Kerseys, solicitors, in Ipswich, having joined the firm in 1970, after a degree from King’s College, Cambridge.
Involved since the inception of the Trust, Nigel has given legal & financial guidance whenever needed. His enthusiasm for Mátyás Seiber’s music arose when a Cambridge student (Classics) in the early sixties, beginning to tape Seiber broadcasts off the Third Programme from 1965 onwards. He is also a Trustee of the Schurmann Foundation, and a “Friend” of the Alan Rawsthorne Society, to whose Journal he has occasionally contributed.

Alan Gibbs

2004 - Present

At Chipping Norton Grammar School music master Edwin C. Rose, got everybody composing except the staff and the cleaners. There he also had his first organ and composing lessons from Rose, then from John Webster. A music scholarship to Durham University, where Arthur Hutchings ran the department gave a grounding in music of all periods from the medieval to the modern. Organ lessons continued from Conrad Eden. After National Service, Alan had a 30-year teaching career and resumed composition lessons under Mátyás Seiber from 1957 to 1960, (who also allowed him to sing in his Dorian Singers). Works on which he advised, included:- Sonata 1 for organ, later revised after John Webster played it at the Orgelwoche in Nuremberg, 1956; Four Short Motets, chosen to include among the works accompany the First London Performance of Seiber’s second Joyce cantata, Three Fragments from ‘Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man’; and Three Pieces for Piano, a serial study still being worked on at the fateful September 1960 day when a teaching colleague asked ‘Have you seen the Times this morning, Alan?’ So Seiber never heard Clifford Benson broadcast the final version.
Alan is married to ‘cellist Vivienne Whysall with one son, Robert, who studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School and the RCM, now leading the Royal Ballet Sinfonia.
Alan continues to compose, is a Patron of the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music and writes books and reviews as a vice-president of the Holst Society.

Nicolas Bell

2010 - Present

Nicolas is now Librarian at the Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambridge, also a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. Until 2015 he was a curator in the Music Collections of the British Library, looking after Mátyás Seiber’s manuscripts and correspondence, alongside those of many other composers. He has published various books and articles on medieval music subjects and is a member of the editorial committee of the national collection of music, Musica Britannica. He is a syndic of the Fitzwilliam Museum and also a Trustee of several charities including the Vaughan Williams Charitable Trust and of the Gerald Coke Handel Foundation and the Musici Trust.

Veronica Henderson

2020 - Present

Originally from Edinburgh, Veronica Henderson read Music at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, (with a Choral Exhibition and Instrumentalist Award). She specialised in the cello at the Royal Academy of Music in London with David Strange, continuing her studies with Joan Dickson and William Pleeth. Cambridge based she has taught cello for 35 years. Veronica also performs as a soloist and chamber musician, including many of Mátyás Seiber’s works for cello and piano, and his repertoire for cello and accordion, for the Cambridge Szeged Society. 
Other concert repertoire extends to Carl Rütti’s “Lieder der Liebe” for solo cello and choir, which she premiered and toured with Cambridge Voices. (Their recording available on the Herald label). She has performed concertos by Haydn, Boccherini, Elgar, Shostakovich and Dvořák, Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations, the Brahms Double and Beethoven’s Triple concerto.  Recital repertoire covers all mainstream duos with piano, also unaccompanied Bach, often presented with other composers for solo cello, in programmes entitled “Perspectives on the Bach Suites”.
Veronica is a keen rambler and photographer, evening strolls giving her practice recognising constellations – an interest triggered by a Northern Lights trip to Norway. Travels have also taken her to the Galápagos Islands and Antarctica. Back in Cambridge, Veronica enjoys reviving her vocal skills and contributes to services at St Edmund’s College Chapel,
St Botolph’s Church, and the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption and the English Martyrs whenever time allows.

Past Trustees

Hugh Wood

2021 - Present

With the sad death of Hugh Wood in August, another link to Seiber & his music is broken. Hugh only studied with Mátyás for about 18 months before the latter’s untimely death in 1960; often expressing regret that it was not longer, saying he had learned so much in that short time.
Hugh was to go on to become one of Britain’s best-known composers, eclectic in his styles like his tutor. He favoured chamber music (again like his tutor) but ventured into orchestral too, with several performances at the Proms.
The young Hugh (who originally read History at Oxford) would come to the house in Caterham as did most of the Seiber pupils, ceasing abruptly with Seiber’s death in 1960. Hugh wrote an obituary for Mátyás and remained in contact over the intervening years with Lilla and Julia, emerging more prominently again when the celebrations were contemplated prior to the centenary of Seiber’s birth.
He has also been the guiding star of the Mátyás Seiber Trust, finally granted Trust status in 2007, and busy ever since in promoting concert and CD performances of his music & studies of his work.
Hugh helped in both 2005 and 2010 Morley College events, which the late Robert Hanson, arranged, and has always provided a fount of knowledge for reference for any query. He was above all a lovely person and friend, and will be greatly missed. (JSB).

Robert Hanson

2004 - 2019

Music Director at Morley College, director of the 2005 & 2010 Seiber Celebrations there> Bob also conducted the Borough Choir and composed across several genre from A Cappella to orchestral. Bob leaves a widow, Judith Lloyd, a vocalist.


Mátyás Seiber (1905-1960) is perhaps not the best-known 20th Century composer, but in his day was regarded as the best teacher of composition in the country and well known among other composers.


The trust has been involved in the production of a number of CDs of Matyas Seiber's work. We list these releases on our Discogrpahy page. These are available to buy through Amazon


The Trust was established in 2004 by Julia Seiber Boyd when the centenary of the birth of Matyas Seiber was looming for 2005. Julia was clear the date should be marked, and performances encouraged.