Dan Godfrey

Sir Daniel "Dan" Eyers Godfrey (20 June 1868 – 20 July 1939) was a British music conductor and member of a musical dynasty that included his father Dan(iel) Godfrey (1831–1903). His son, also Dan Godfrey, was also a musician, station manager at BBC Manchester in the 1920s, and the first full-time conductor of the BBC Wireless Orchestra (1924–1926).

He was born in London, a member of a distinguished family of English bandmasters, and son of the bandmaster of the Grenadier Guards - (to whom the waltz Les Grenadiers, Op. 207, by Émile Waldteufel was dedicated.)

He founded the Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra in 1893 and remained its leading conductor for 41 years, until 1934. Although he was contracted by the Bournemouth Corporation to conduct a seasonal band of 30 musicians, his ambition was to build a permanent symphony orchestra in the town.

Godfrey gave the first performance of the reconstruction of Vaughan Williams's A London Symphony on 11 February 1915, and made acoustic recordings of excerpts of the work in 1923 and an abridged version in 1925. He also made electric recordings of Mozart's Jupiter Symphony, Dvořák's Slavonic Dances, Debussy's Petite Suite and Grieg's Sigurd Jorsalfar March with the London Symphony Orchestra.

Godfrey and the Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra made several gramophone records for HMV from 1914 to 1930. He was knighted in 1922 'for valuable services to British music' largely as a result of a vigorous campaign on his behalf from Ethel Smyth. He died in Bournemouth in 1939 and is buried at St Peter's Church.

Birth and Death Data: Born June 20th, 1868 (London), Died July 20th, 1939

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1903 - 1924

Roles Represented in DAHR: arranger


Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-249 10-in. 8/11/1903 Handel's largo Sousa's Band Band, with cornet solo arranger  
Victor C-11643 12-in. 2/28/1912 Samson and Delilah selection Arthur Pryor's Band Band arranger  
Victor C-12228 12-in. 7/24/1912 Coppelia ballet Conway's Band Band arranger  
Victor B-14304 10-in. 1/12/1914 Farandole, part 4 Vessella's Italian Band Band arranger  
Victor C-14608 12-in. 3/21/1914 Exotic dance United States Marine Band Band arranger  
Victor B-31459 10-in. 11/28/1924 March of the dwarfs Goldman Band ; Edwin Franko Goldman Band arranger  


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Godfrey, Dan," accessed August 5, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/105630.

Godfrey, Dan. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved August 5, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/105630.

"Godfrey, Dan." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 5 August 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/105630


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