The Purcell Society

Publishing the complete works of Henry Purcell

Home The Purcell Society Edition Companion Series Contact us

Welcome to the Purcell Society

Henry Purcell

Announcement: Professor Bruce Wood

The Purcell Society is very sorry to have to report the death of its Chairman, Professor Bruce Wood, on 17 December 2023.

Bruce was Emeritus Professor of Music at Bangor University, an institution he joined as a lecturer in music in 1979. Alongside his academic work at Bangor, Bruce maintained an active role as a conductor and performer until his retirement in 2010. He served on the Purcell Society Trust and Editorial Committee for much of his academic life, holding the position of Secretary and subsequently Chairman. He edited more than a dozen volumes of music of Purcell and Blow for the Purcell Society Edition and Musica Britannica, as well as pieces by Croft and Elgar. Bruce was the author of Purcell: An Extraordinary Life (ABRSM, 2009) and co-editor, with Colin Timms, of Music in the London Theatre from Purcell to Handel (CUP, 2017). He authored and co-authored many articles on Purcell, several with his long-time collaborator Andrew Pinnock.

Bruce will be remembered as an inspirational teacher and supervisor of graduate students, a fine Purcell scholar (and Elgarian), and strong advocate for music. He will be sorely missed by many as a colleague and friend.


The Purcell Society is publishing the complete musical works of Henry Purcell in modern, authoritative printed editions. The Purcell Society Edition is designed with performers, researchers, librarians and music lovers in mind.

The modern Purcell Society Edition is being published in 33 volumes. These scores replace the ‘old’ Purcell Society edition (The Works of Henry Purcell) published between the 1870s and 1970s. The modern series contains completely new editions, edited from original sources by today’s leading Purcell scholars. The editions draw on the latest scholarship and on newly discovered sources of Purcell’s music. They are produced to the highest editorial standards and are peer-reviewed before publication.

The Society has recently initiated the Purcell Society Companion Series, a supplementary set of works by Purcell’s most important contemporaries.

Until 2007 Novello & Co. were the publishers to the Purcell Society. Since then Stainer & Bell have had this role. Stainer & Bell are publishing all remaining volumes in the complete edition and the Companion Series.

Performing material is available for many works. Offprints of individual works can often be purchased, sometimes in PDF format. This website provides details of the contents of each volume, and information on the availability of scores and performing materials. Find out more on the Purcell Society Edition and Companion Series pages.