Congratulations to Eliza Carthy MBE, who has been announced as the next President of The English Folk Dance and Song Society. Having previously been the Vice-President since 2008, she takes over from Shirley Collins MBE and will be only the fifth President since the society was founded in 1932.
Describing herself simply as a “modern English musician”, Eliza Carthy is one of the most recognisable faces in British folk. Launching head-on into the scene in the early 90s, she quickly became one of its great innovators. She has spearheaded the re-emergence of English traditional music as a vibrant, exciting genre that could stand proud next to other world musics. With a wealth of experience under her belt, Eliza’s talent has matured and is flourishing. She continues to bring new audiences to English folk through well-judged collaborations, recordings and performances.
Eliza Carthy said: “Since I was a child my family has spoken of the institution of the English Folk Dance and Song Society as the trove of our traditions. My first visit to the house as an adult to research the Carpenter collection on microfiche for my first album was like a pilgrimage, an experience never forgotten. The Society has since worked tirelessly to make the Archive and library available to the wider modern world via their online resources; the treasure is now free to curious minds all over the world.
‘When a laughing Shirley Collins and I put our handprints in cement outside the House in 2008 I didn’t imagine that I’d one day be given the honour of President of the Society. The English Folk Dance and Song Society continues to be custodian of the people’s shared cultural history whilst looking forward to the future. I’m beyond delighted to accept this position.”
Katy Spicer, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, said: “We are very pleased to start another chapter in the organisation’s long-standing and valued association with Eliza. She is superbly imaginative ambassador for the folk music of England, celebrating its history hand-in-hand with an ever-innovative approach to music-making today. Eliza’s support will be invaluable as we continue our mission: to champion the folk arts at the very heart of England’s rich and diverse cultural landscape.”