BOWMAN, Aubrey (1918-2009)

Scope and Content

Papers of musician and Communist Aubrey Bowman (1918-2009), including: files containing political correspondence, ephemera, and some published material regarding the Communist Party,1978-2006, the Soviet Union and the Stalin Society, 1943–2005; progressive political campaigns,1964–2009; papers consisting mainly of printed published material including song books, sheet music, lyrics newspaper clippings, some ephemera, correspondence, and meeting minutes regarding the Worker's Music Association, 1931-2006; thirteen music books, 1937–1950; personal files containing various published materials including books, magazines, postcards, travel guides and artefacts, 1970-1986; miscellaneous mixed media including VHS, cassette tape, CDs, and vinyl records, banners, and tea towels,1949 - 2002.

Administrative / Biographical History

Aubrey Clement Bowman was born in 1918 and educated at the Royal College of Music. As a student, Bowman trained with the composer Alan Bush, of the Independent Labour Party. Through the course of his studies, Bowman became increasingly involved with the London Labour Choral Union and the Workers Music Association. He stood as conductor and music composer for the Workers Music Association beginning in 1936 and had a successful independent career in music conducting for the London Festival Ballet, Sadlers Wells Theatre Ballet (later The Royal Ballet) and the National Ballet of Canada. Bowman joined the Communist party in 1941 and remained active throughout his lifetime, supporting the Soviet line on Hungary (1956) and Czechoslovakia (1968). Later in his life, Bowman supported a variety of political campaigns, most notably: nuclear disarmament, anti-racism, community controlled education, and the liberation struggles of Latin America. Bowman married Lalage Bowman in 1950 and fathered two daughters. He died in 2009.


The Aubrey Bowman Archive is divided into the following eleven sections:

  • BOWMAN/1: Politics
  • BOWMAN/2: Politics
  • BOWMAN/3: Politics
  • BOWMAN/4: Politics
  • BOWMAN/5: Politics
  • BOWMAN/6: Music
  • BOWMAN/7: Music
  • BOWMAN/8: Music
  • BOWMAN/9: Miscellaneous
  • BOWMAN/10: Miscellaneous
  • BOWMAN/11: Miscellaneous

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Donated to Bishopsgate Institute by Alison Carpenter, March 2010

Other Finding Aids

Adlib catalogue and handlist available in researcher's area

Archivist's Note

Entry compiled by Grace Biggins