Rutland Boughton and the Glastonbury Festivals

By Michael Hurd

In 1993, Michael Hurd completed his account on the life and music of English Composer Rutland Boughton and it was produced by OUP. The re issue edition in 2014 is now published by the Rutland Boughton Music trust and includes previously unpublished photographs.
The Glastonbury Festival performance

Rutland Boughton


Rutland Boughton is best remembered today for his opera The Immortal Hour which enjoyed record breaking runs in London during the 1920s and 30s. At this height, he was as famous as Elgar, surpassing even that of his contemporaries Holst and Vaughan Williams. His festivals at Glastonbury, which he founded and directed from 1914-1926, produced over 300 staged performances of his works as well as over 100 chamber concerts, lectures, exhibitions, and a series of summer schools which were unique for their time.

Boughton fell into decline with his unconventional views on society and his involvement in Communism. His revival began in 1978 following the formation of the Rutland Boughton Music Trust and a series of broadcasts of his music on the BBC, notable a full performance of The Immortal Hour. Since then a number of commercial recordings have been release which have received critical acclaim.

Michael Hurd


Michael Hurd was a composer and musicologist and wrote books on a number of English composers including Boughton, Britten, Elgar, Gurney and Tippett. He first published a book called “Immortal Hour – The life and period of Rutland Boughton” in 1962 and the Glastonbury Festival book was an update on this initial publication. In addition to being well- known and respected in the music world, Hurd’s personal odyssey took him from the Intelligence Corps between 1947 and 1949 to Professor of Theory of Music for the Royal Marines School of Music in the 1950s. He also undergo conducting engagements in Africa and Australasia as well as the UK. Michael Hurd lived in Liss, Hampshire for most of his life and died there in 2006.

Order the book
‘Rutland Boughton and the Glastonbury Festivals’

(ISBN 978-0-992-71730-9)

In addition to Rutland’s music one can purchase the Michael Hurd’s Biography ‘Rutland Boughton and the Glastonbury Festivals’ 2014. First issued in 2003 and since updated in 2014 with more photos.

If you would like to purchase a copy please contact the trust. The price of the biography is £25 plus postage and packaging per copy.