All profits made by Historic Masters are dontated to the Historic Singers Trust which has also benefitted from various generous private donations and bequests. The purpose of the trust is to help research into the aural legacy of the past and to facilitate publications in both traditional book or article form or electronically. HST has given grants to facilitate translation of the Memoirs of Serge Levik, the preparation of the otherwise unpublished early full version of the autobiography of Frieda Hempel, the chronology included in the new biography of Luisa Tetrazzini, some of the expenses incurred in research for the new biography of Lina Cavalieri. We have also given grants to help research into the lives and careeers of Macella Sembrich and Meta Seinemeyer.

We are also supporting exensive research into recording companies. Our first publication in this field is the complete Fonotipia Catalogue.

The ethos of Historic Masters Ltd is that it is a not for profit company. Any surpluses are transferred on an annual basis to Historic Singers Trust, established in 1984 to support research and publications concerning the work of the great singers of the past. During the early history of Historic Masters Ltd, it was possible to build up the resources of Historic Singers Trust to enable it to support a number of important projects. In recent years Historic Masters Ltd has encountered major difficulties and there have been no surpluses to transfer. However, the John Stratton Trust, through its Trustee, Stephen Clarke, has given significant financial support enabling Historic Singers Trust to continue its work.

To date the following projects have been supported:-

• Translation of the Levik Memoirs (published by Symosium Records).
• Preparation of manuscript for English version of Frieda Hempel’s autobiography (published by Amadeus).
• Support for Michael Henstock’s work on ‘Fonotipia Recordings’.
• Developing different methods of preparing 78rpm metals for use in modern presses.
• Compilation of a complete database from the information contained in the Fonotipia ledgers and contemporary catalogues, and issued in the form of a CD ROM with regular updates.
• Support for research into the life and career of Lina Cavalieri (biography by Paul Fryer published by McPharland).
• Translation of a French biography of Mattia Battistini by Jacques Chuilon (awaiting publication).
• Support for developing a complete chronology of performances at the Mariinksy Theatre, St. Petersburg in pre-revolutionary Russia (awaiting publication).
• Translation of a book by Edouard Stark about great singers of the Mariinsky (awaiting publication).
• Financial support for a dedicated researcher working at the EMI Music Archives checking its holdings of some 70,000 78rpm metal masters

Members of the committee of Historic Masters Ltd and the trustees of Historic Singers Trust are identical. Stephen Clarke is Chairman of the Trust and Stanley Henig is Secretary. As of November 2006 funds available to the trustees are now very limited. Donations would be most welcome: those from UK taxpayers will be eligible for a tax credit under the gift aid scheme.

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