Sidney Newman

C.B.E., M.A.., (Oxon), Hon D.Mus. (Dunelm)
Hon R.A.M., F.R.C.O., F.C.T.L.
Reid Professor of Music
Dean of the Faculty of Music
Edinburgh University
Born 1906 died 1971

This photograph of Sidney with his four sons is probably relevant because, although his name was a household word in Scotland and further afield, if he is remembered in Nailsworth it is probably as a family man. His mother was Mary Edith Clissold of Chestnut Hill, his father Julian Bedford Newman of Newmarket House. His first ancestor to arrive in Nailsworth was Welsh Benjamin Francis who served as the Baptist pastor of Shortwood from 1757 till his death in 1799. Although the Rev.Benjamin Francis was widely known, (he received an honorary degree from an American University and was invited to different pastorates), his response always was "I cannot leave my poor people of Shortwood" (and, indeed they were poor).

In a different context Sidney also had a deep affection for Nailsworth and his abiding wish was to get back there for his retirement. In the event he only lived back home for a few months, but despite his illness, shortly before he died he said, "This has been one of the happiest summers of my life."

It seems right that Nailsworth should be aware of one of its family who contributed much to many and I therefore am including a "portrait" in this web site.

Sidney Practising Sidney's Carols Sidney on the Broadwood
Edward's Tunes
Additional Activities
Prof. Sidney Newman - An appreciation
It is with deepest regret that I and all my colleagues of the Faculty of Music hear of the passing of Sidney Newman, writes (composer) Kenneth Leighton. The contribution which Prof. Newman made to the musical life of Edinburgh, and of Scotland can never receive adequate acknowledgement, just as the development of the Faculty of Music in all its far reaching aspects owes so much to his vision and energy. But it is, I think above all as an outstanding musician and human being that we shall remember him. The Reid concerts under his baton and his choral concerts in the Usher Hall were musical events of remarkable significance, always exciting and revealing and often profoundly moving. As a conductor and teacher he had breadth of vision which drew him constantly to the inner essence of the music he was performing, a gift which, alas, is not so frequently found in this day and age. The same can be said of his piano recitals, several of which I had the privilege of hearing during my early days in Edinburgh.

In addition to his great gifts as a musician Sidney Newman was of course a man of wide culture with many interests outside his art, and this enormously humane and philosophical background enriched both his music making and the life around him. For his many gifts, for his friendship and for his unfailing kindness we shall always be grateful.

The Scotsman. September 1971