Let’s speak to Mike Barker, who works at Boosey & Hawkes
How did Boosey & Hawkes start?
Boosey & Hawkes originated from the 1930 merger between two great family businesses, Boosey & Company founded in the 1760s, and Hawkes & Son founded in 1865. Both were involved in music publishing and the manufacture of musical instruments. From 1930 the merged company continued this twin business activity for many decades until 2003 when the instrument division was sold, leaving Boosey & Hawkes focusing solely on music publishing.
What is your role at Boosey & Hawkes?
Online Marketing Associate at the Shop at Boosey.com – we are a small team within a large international music company, and the job is quite diverse; between us we develop marketing ideas for new and existing publications and promotions. We keep as much as we can in-house, managing our own Google advertising, social media marketing and email marketing programmes. The Shop at Boosey.com is the world’s leading classical music specialist, selling a huge range of classical, choral and educational music and scores, digital downloads, merchandise, gifts & CDs & DVDs from over 1000 publishers, worldwide. We also run e-commerce stores for every major exam board including ABRSM, Trinity College London Press and London College of Music. We ship from the UK to over 175 countries and add hundreds of new titles on a regular basis.
Do you have a musical background?
Yes, I’ve played music all of my life, having been taught piano by my uncle. I played guitar in bands for many years, and studied music at university. Outside of my work at Boosey & Hawkes, I compose music for films.
What is the best thing about working at Boosey & Hawkes?
Working with such an incredible catalogue of music is extremely inspiring; We have much of the greatest music ever composed, and continue to publish ground-breaking new music by the most exciting composers working today.
What sort of customers shop with you?
It’s more varied than you might think; we supply sheet music – not just classical, but also pop, rock and jazz, to professionals students and amateurs alike – our customers are of all ages, and come from all around the world.
Why do people shop with you?
The Boosey & Hawkes brand has a great deal of history and is special to many people. At the Shop at Boosey.com, we stock a diverse range of music from all major international publishers, as well as smaller companies and self-published composers. We do our best to offer our customers a reliable, personal service.
What are the plans for the business going forward?
We’re looking forward to the resumption of full live performance post-pandemic in all territories, particularly choral music which has been most affected. The lockdown has allowed us to focus on some exciting digital projects, both in terms of new product and delivery systems, where there is a real opportunity for growth in our industry. We’ve also been scouting for the freshest new composer talent, having just announced a new agreement with young British composer Grace-Evangeline Mason, with more composer signings to follow soon.