On the eve of PRS for Music’s centenary, the society that represents some 100,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers welcomed some of its most prolific members to help them turn 100 in style. Held at Getty Images Gallery in central London, guests attended a VIP preview of a photography exhibition celebrating the best songwriting talent of the last 100 years.
Artful shots of British classical composer Benjamin Britten sit alongside pictures of rock ‘n’ roll icons such as the Rolling Stones, David Bowie and Kate Bush, whilst the best that modern music has to offer – think Emeli Sandé, Ed Sheeran and the Arctic Monkeys – is celebrated too.
Star-name guests included Live Aid founder Bob Geldof, Spandau Ballet’s Gary Kemp and prolific pop songwriters Cathy Dennis and Guy Chambers, as well as James Bond composer David Arnold, Soul II Soul’s Jazzie B, classical composer George Benjamin, and Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook of the band Squeeze.
PRS Chair, Guy Fletcher, and PRS for Music Chief Executive, Robert Ashcroft, took to the stage to say a few words about the organisation’s achievements over the last 100 years and called on the crowd to raise a toast in celebration. Once the speeches had wrapped, guests were treated to musical entertainment from swing band, The Masquerading Troubadours.
PRS Chair, Guy Fletcher OBE, said: “Our members are at the heart of everything we do, so it’s fitting that they take centre stage of our centenary celebrations. Our members provide the soundtrack to your life. We are so proud of what has been written, performed and accomplished in the last 100 years and our exhibition at Getty Images Gallery is a great way to kick start the year’s celebrations. It sets the benchmark for another century of brilliant creative talent.”
PRS for Music Chief Executive, Robert Ashcroft, said: “PRS for Music is at the heart of the UK’s creative industry and is the lifeblood of both grassroots musicians and those loved on the global stage. The UK has a proud tradition of creating wonderful music that is enjoyed the world over and PRS for Music has been supporting the creators of that music since 1914. While the world of music has changed enormously in the last century – from sheet music to streaming – one thing hasn’t changed: our commitment to ensuring songwriters and composers are recognised and remunerated fairly for their work.”