Nick Morgan read Classics and Modern Languages at New College, Oxford, perfecting his spoken and medieval Russian as an exchange student in the USSR in 1981-82. After graduating he joined the BBC’s Production Trainee Scheme and, from 1984 to 1998, produced speech programmes about science and music for Radios Four and Three. In 1998 he became a freelance radio producer and presenter (of Radio Three’s Building a Library, among other things) and started writing record reviews and features for International Record Review and BBC Music.

In October 2006 Nick was appointed to a CHARM doctoral studentship under the University of Sheffield / British Library Concordat scheme. His research formed part of Sheffield’s study of the UK record industry between 1925 and 1932: the National Gramophonic Society was founded by Compton Mackenzie in 1924, hot on the heels of the Gramophone, and would ‘aim at achieving for gramophone music what such societies as the Medici have done for the reproduction of paintings and for the printed book’, by issuing complete recordings of works, mainly chamber music, which seemed unlikely to be issued commercially. The NGS made premiere recordings of many cornerstones of today’s repertoire, from quartets by Haydn and Beethoven, Debussy and Ravel to then new music by Schoenberg, Malipiero and Warlock. Its releases were financed by subscription and it continued production until 1931. The Society’s hopeful launch and eventual failure, and the detailed chronicle of its doings published in the Gramophone, tell us much about this crucial period in the evolution of the record business.