Boosey & Hawkes

The world’s leading classical music publisher

Introduction to Boosey & Hawkes

Boosey & Hawkes is the largest specialist classical music publishing company in the world. They own an unrivalled catalogue of music copyrights including the works of such distinguished 20th century composers as Stravinsky, Bartók, Copland, Britten, Prokofieff, Strauss and Rachmaninoff. In the 21st century, they continue to publish the very best in new music and have exclusive agreements with many of the leading international classical composers of today, including John Adams, Steve Reich, James MacMillan, Mark-Anthony Turnage and Karl Jenkins.

Their extensive catalogue of printed music for the professional, student and leisure markets ranges from instrumental and choral to market-leading tutor books and creative teaching materials for schools and colleges, and may be accessed via the shop at


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 – 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 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, 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.

Find out more at Boosey & Hawkes