Bosworth & Co.

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typical cover 1908
an early success 1890s



German publishing company that specialized in popular music. The firm was founded in 1889 in Leipzig by the Englishman Arthur Edwin Bosworth (1858–1923). Originally, Chapell, the publisher of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, helped to establish the company in order to get Austrian and German copyright protection for its valuable properties, and in fact Bosworth's first publication was the vocal score of "The Gondoliers." Bosworth and Chapell put up the initial capital, but Chapell took no part in the management, leaving it all to the adventurous Bosworth, whose main deficiency was a lack of German language. Fortunately, Bosworth found an energetic local partner in Carl Kratochwill, and between them they created one of Europe's major popular music companies. In fact, the business quickly expanded beyond Gilbert and Sullvan.

After securing popular successes in song, dance, and operetta by Alphons Czibulka (Songe d’amour Op.356, 1890), Erik Meyer-Helmund (Rokoko-Liebeslied 1895) and Carl Zeller (the operetta Der Vogelhändler) the firm began to expand operations beyond Germany, opening four additional branches over the next 25 years, of which the Vienna branch (1902) was the most successful. A policy of expansion through acquisition of smaller publishers brought the catalogs of Wilhelm Aletter of Berlin (1896), Eduard Ebner of Ludwigsburg (1897), and Heinrich Petersen of Leipzig. The Petersen acquisition contributed significantly to the firm's catalog of educational works. A further prize in the educational field was Sevcik's violin studies.

The move to Vienna took the form of the buyout of the bankrupt firm Vinzenz Kratochwill Ltd. The timing was fortunate as Viennese dances, operettas, and songs were reaching their peak of worldwide popularity. Among the popular composers of the time were Alphons Czibulka, Alfred Grünfeld, Karl Komzak, Carl Millöcker, Eugen von Taund and Albert Gortner. Bosworth gained the exclusive rights to works such as the operetta „Zur indischen Witwe“ by Oscar Straus and the ballets of Oskar Nedbal. Further acquisitions in Vienna, such as Julius Chmél, made Bosworth a natural choice for the last great Viennese operetta composer Franz Lehar. Local dialect songs and zither music were also in the catalog, which grew to 30,000 titles by 1914.

After Arthur Edwin Bosworth's death in 1923 his sons Laurence Owen Bosworth (1886–1952) and Arthur Ferdinand Bosworth (1893–1959) took over the company. The two great innovations of the 1920s were the growing influence of American songs and musicals and the role of music in movies and on the radio. Bosworth also got the British rights to Steingraeber’s publications. In 1998, Bosworth was absorbed by Music Sales Group.

Important Acquistitions

  • Vinzenz Kratochwill, Vienna (1889)
  • Wilhelm Aletter, Berlin (1890s)
  • Eduard Ebner, Ludwigsburg (1897)
  • Heinrich Petersen, Leipzig (1898)
  • Otakar Ševčik (late 1890s)
  • A. Payne, Berlin - Reinhold Jockisch works (late 1890s)
  • Steingräber, Leipzig - rights for British Empire (late 1890s)
  • Wickins & Co., London (late 1890s)
  • J. Brixner, Vienna (1902-05)
  • Wiener Musik- und Verlagshaus, Vienna (1902-05)
  • Verlag Julius Chmél, Vienna (1902-05)
  • August Huber, Graz (1902-05)
  • F. Rörich, Vienna (1902-05)
  • Lyra-Verlag, Translateur & Co., Vienna (1938)
  • Josef Blaha, Vienna (1939)


Imprints, Agencies, Addresses

Plate Numbers

Bosworth plate numbers initially employed the prefix B. & Cº.

Plate Composer Work Year
00092 Sobeck Wind Quintet No.2, Op.11 1891
00477 Sitt 3 Albumblätter, Op.13 1894
00585 Cui 5 Morceaux, Op.52 1895
02105 Chopin Etude, Op.10, No.6 (ed. E. Biehl)
02109 Chopin Etude, Op.10, No.10 (ed. E. Biehl)
02820 Sabathil Da Capo!’s Mauerblümchen, Op.168 1902
02889 Held, L. Potpourri on the Opera Gaudeamus
(music and arr. both by Held?)
04289 Ševčík Violin Studies, Op.7 1901
04503 Brüll 2 Piano Pieces, Op.89 1904
04515–16 Sitt 3 Morceaux, Op.75 (nos.1,2) 1901
05123 Wilm 6 Bagatelles, Op.188 (No.1) 1903
05400–02 Brüll 3 Pieces for Violin and Piano, Op.90 (ed.Lloyd) 1904
05786 Brüll Waltz for Choir and Orchestra, Op.91 (reduced) 1904
06074 Brüll 3 Piano Pieces, Op.93 1905
06595 Drdla Träumerei, Op.21 1905
10068 Brüll 3 Piano Pieces, Op.101 1906
10171 Rieding Violin Concertino, Op.25 1907
10633 Jentsch 3 Mazurkas, Op.22 (no.3) 1908
13211 Brian, Havergal The vision of Cleopatra, Op.15 1909
16163 Arnold, Wilfrid Ashes of Roses, valse triste (pf. version) 1919

Sources Consulted

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