John Drummond and Bob Lockyer

The RPS Drummond Lockyer Fund for Dance is named in memory of two inspirational individuals who did so much good for dance and music, and who were partners in life: John Drummond and Bob Lockyer.

Sir John Drummond CBE, writer, broadcaster and impresario, was a passionate and uncompromising champion of the arts. He first made his mark as a director of television arts programmes. The 18 years he spent at the BBC heralded an unprecedented burgeoning of the arts on BBC Television. Some of his most memorable programmes focused on cellist Paul Tortelier, the Leeds International Piano Competition, and Sergei Diaghilev.

Appointed as Director of the Edinburgh International Festival in 1978, he did much to connect art forms. In the 1979 Festival, Diaghilev’s influence was apparent in opera, ballet, concerts, lectures and an exhibition, while his final festival in 1982 brought together performances of music by Schoenberg, Berg, Webern and Zemlinsky with manifestations of Kokoschka, Mackintosh, Rilke, Hofmannsthal and Werfel.

He consequently became Controller of BBC Radio 3 and the BBC Proms, overseeing its centenary celebrations. In 1998, he gave the RPS Annual Lecture under the title ‘Taking Music Seriously’. He was appointed CBE in 1990 and knighted in 1995.

Bob Lockyer OBE was, for forty years under a number of different titles, Director of Dance for BBC Television. He filled the screen with vital, original dance broadcasts: relays from the stage and a host of ever-inventive, custom-made studio productions. This led him to collaborate with such iconic choreographers as Martha Graham, Kenneth MacMillan, Merce Cunningham and Frederick Ashton. Continually, Bob sought to craft fresh ways of capturing dance on film. Central to this was Dance for Camera, the series of over 50 unique films he commissioned for the BBC in collaboration with Arts Council England, as well as his innovative body of work with Robert Cohan and London Contemporary Dance Theatre. Bob was conferred an OBE in 2021.

Shortly after John died in 2006, Bob set out to establish the Drummond Fund in partnership with the Royal Philharmonic Society. Evers since, it has fulfilled Bob and John’s passion of uniting choreographers and composers, giving them the means to create new work for the stage. Bob remained an ardent chief advisor to the fund till he died in 2022. You can read our tribute to him here, and we are pleased now to rename the fund in his and John’s names together.