Our first predecessor organisation, the Songwriters Guild of Great Britain, was founded in May 1947 to promote and protect the interests of British songwriters. Led by Bruce Sievier and Eric Maschitz, the Guild discussed the idea of creating an award to honour UK talent in 1948, but it took a further eight years before the project reached fruition.
On the 11th March 1956 the first Ivor Novello Awards were presented at a televised event from the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London. Sponsored by the impresario Joseph Fenston, The Ivors were described by the Guild “as a unique event in the history of popular music and it is fitting that they should bear the name of the man who was not only the outstanding composer of his generation but also an active member of the distinguished group who were responsible for the foundation of the Songwriters Guild and the renaissance of British popular music after the last war.”
The statuette is a representation of Euterpe, the Greek muse of music and lyric poetry. It was designed by Hazel Underwood, an undergraduate of St Martin’s School of Art in London, in 1955. To this day it is still cast in solid bronze and weighs just over 7lbs.
Since 1956 the Academy has presented The Ivors on 65 occasions to shine a spotlight on the talent of music creators. An Ivor Novello Award is now among the most coveted music awards in the world.