Michael Jamieson Bristow


Michael Jamieson Bristow sadly passed away in 2012.
We have posted a short text about him: Michael in memoriam
We think of his websites as his legacy to the world and will ensure they stay online, though the information may no longer be updated with Michael's attention to detail.

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Michael Jamieson Bristow FRGS is a British composer, musicologist, music editor, music historian, pianist and church organist and acquired an interest in National Anthems as a teenager at school and has since become one of the world's leading experts, making frequent radio and television broadcasts on the subject. Michael is an authority on the music of both the Russian composer Alexander Glazunov (1865-1936) (see below) and the British composer Constant Lambert (1905-1951) (see below)


On April 15 2002 upon the death of the 4th Editor William Leonard Reed, Michael became the 5th Editor of the book 'National Anthems of the World' which was published on August 17 2006 (11th Edition). Michael is also Editor of the book 'State Songs of America' published on February 28 2000 (1st Edition). 'State Anthems of Malaysia' is Michael's third book (which is currently seeking a publisher) and he is now working on his fourth book 'Provincial Songs of Canada'

Previous Editors of 'National Anthems of the World':

1st Editor:  Martin Fallas Shaw D.Mus OBE FRCM
(born: Camberwell London March 09 1875 - died: Southwold October 24 1958)

2nd Editor:  Richard Henry Pinwall Coleman Mus.D FRCO
(born: Dartmouth April 03 1888 - died: Eastbourne February 17 1965)

3rd Editor:  Thomas Marshall Cartledge D.Phil
(born: Harrow February 25 1915 - died: Denver (USA) August 04 1993)

4th Editor:  William Leonard Reed MA D.Mus
(born: Southwark London October 16 1910 - died: Blackheath London April 15 2002)


Michael was born and grew up in England - Welling, Paignton and Minster (Sheppey), he moved to the village of Halkirk in Scotland on November 29 2001, then to the town of Sarpsborg in Norway on October 18 2004 and finally to the village of Zalavár in Hungary on September 29 2009 where he has purchased two properties (a mainhouse and a guesthouse), and lives alone with his two kittens (brothers) born on May 06 2011. However due to Michael having a heart attack on September 16 2010 he has now decided to leave Hungary and return to England or move to Northern France (Pas-de-Calais) sometime in 2012


Apart from Glazunov and Lambert Michael's other favourite composers are the Irish composer Ina Boyle (1889-1967) (see below), the Norwegian composer Eivind Groven (1901-1977) (see below and Links Page), the Swedish composer Wilhelm Peterson-Berger (1867-1942) (see below and Links Page) and the French composer Gabriel Pierné (1863-1937) (see below). Michael is a member of the Wilhelm Peterson-Berger Sällskapet of Stockholm (Sweden)


Thirty-Seven Quotations:

(1) "God created the world, but the Dutch created Holland." - Voltaire (1694-1778)

(2) "We are nothing; less than nothing, and dreams. We are only what might have been." - Charles Lamb (1775-1834)

(3) "Nature is without aim, she is an endless circle and leads us nowhere." - Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)

(4) "We can have one great experience at best, and the secret of life is to reproduce that experience as often as possible." - Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

(5) "Most people hate the taste of beer - to begin with. It is, however, a prejudice that many people have been able to overcome." - Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

(6) "There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

(7) "It is a matter of choosing the right time, not too late or not too soon. This is very difficult. One will have to be very smart as well as lucky. But if we do something with honest intentions and to the best of our ability, we should be regarded as already tried our best." - HM King Prajadhipok (1893-1941) (King of Thailand (1925-1935)

(8) "Seize the day, seize the hour." - Mao Tse-tung (1893-1976)

(9) Simplicity versus complexity:
"Things which are complicated tend to disappear and get lost. Simplicity is difficult, not easy. Beauty is simple. All unnecessary elements are removed - only essence remains." - Alan Hovhaness (1911-2000)

(10) "Life without music is unthinkable, music without life is academic, that is why my contract with music is a total embrace." - Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990)

(11) "Never treat friends like a library book." - Michael Jamieson Bristow

(12) "Things happen the way they are supposed to happen! No matter what!" - Daniel René Trinborg (b.1987)

(13) "Stay close to those who matter most, and be true to yourself in your pursuits."

(14) "You are what your heart tells you, stick to that and you'll figure it out."

(15) "Stay true to yourself, so just open your heart and let it take you wherever it wants to go."

(16) "That which never comes at the right time, never comes at all."

(17) "Rome wasn't built in a day."

(18) "Strike whilst the iron is hot."

(19) "Where there's a will, there's a way."

(20) "One door closes and another door opens."

(21) "Nothing ventured, nothing gained."

(22) "Norwegian people discriminate and are difficult, sceptical, unsociable and think that their culture is best compared with others." - this was a comment made by an Eastern European woman who has lived in Norway since 1997

(23) "He who loans money to a friend stands to loose both."

(24) "Strong belief triggers the mind to figure out the way."

(25) "It is hard to be yourself, if you don't know who you are."

(26) "Don't worry about the people in your past, there's a reason they didn't make it to your future!"

(27) "Never regret anything that once made you smile!"

(28) "All work is honourable."

(29) "No one is more than six connecting people away from a famous person."

(30) "There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open."

(31) "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer."

(32) "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

(33) "Life is worthless, no need to cry!"

(34) "30% of Britons buying abroad and intending a permanent move were back in the UK within 3 years."

(35) "Assume nothing, expect anything!"

(36) True Friendship:
(a) "A true friend is someone who knows all your secrets, without using them against you."
(b) "A true friend helps you without asking a favour in return, and is there for you when you needed someone mostly. But more importantly, a friend is someone who sees your imperfections, accepts them and forgives them."
(c) "True friends make the bad times bearable and the good times great!"

(37) "Once you made my life feel like a dream. I was happy in that dream. But dreams only last so long. And you are gone now." "En gang fikk du livet mitt til å føles som en drøm. Jeg var glad i den drømmen. Men drømmer varer ikke evig. Og du er borte nå."


Michael's other main interest is coin collecting from the end of World War II to 2011 and as far back as 1860 with the UK:

Malaysia (1967-2011 complete)
The Netherlands (1948-2001 complete)
Norway (1945-2011 complete) + one kroner (1908,1910,1912-1996) 
United Kingdom (1945-2010 complete) + pennies (1860-1967,1970 complete) + silver halfcrowns (1901,1911-1919,1927 and 1937-1944) + farthings (1937-1944) and brass threepences (1937-1944)
Canada (25 cents) (1945-2008 complete)
Sweden (1 krona) (1945-2009 complete)
United States of America (10 cents/dime) (1945-2010 complete) + (1996W - the scarce dime)
Hungary (1992-2011)

Other interests include: beekeeping, growing herbs, chess, playing card games, cycling, swimming, the British Empire, the London Underground and Roman Villas in Britain


Michael's favourite places in England are: the town of Aldeburgh in Suffolk (Population 2793), the village of Farningham in Kent (Population 1250), the town of Totnes in Devon (Population 8000) and the town of Whitstable in Kent (Population 30000). Michael is a member of The Aldeburgh Society and also The Whitstable Society


Michael's favourite painter is Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) (see below)


Michael's favourite top ten national anthems






















Michael's favourite top four former national anthems


EGYPT (1960-1979)


TUNISIA (1958-1987)


IRAN (1933-1979)


NIGERIA (1960-1978)


Michael's favourite movies are:

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (December 31 1939)
I'll Met by Moonlight (March 04 1957)
The Vikings (June 28 1958)
Ben-Hur (December 16 1959)
Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush (March 04 1968)
Snow Treasure (October 04 1968)
Pelle the Conqueror (December 25 1987)
Kamilla and the Thief (March 24 1988)
Brokeback Mountain (December 16 2005)


Michael's favourite books are:

The Canterbury Tales (13**) by Geoffrey Chaucer (c1342-1400)
The Black Tulip (1850) by Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870)
Tom Brown's Schooldays (1857) by Thomas Hughes (1822-1896)
Alice in Wonderland (1864) by Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)
Three Men in a Boat (1889) by Jerome Klapea Jerome (1859-1927)
The Railway Children (1906) by Edith Nesbit (1858-1924)
The Nature Notes of an Edwardian Lady (1905) by Edith Blackwell Holden (1871-1920)
The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady (1906) by Edith Blackwell Holden (1871-1920)
The Wind in the Willows (1908) by Kenneth Grahame (1859-1932)
The Secret Garden (1911) by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849-1924)


On March 05 2005 Michael became the Deputy Organist of the Metodistkirken, St Mariegate 56, NO-1706 SARPSBORG, Norway; and was appointed Organist for one year from January 01 2007 to December 31 2007 as the Organist took a one year sabbatical. From January 01 2008 to September 29 2009 Michael was once again the Deputy Organist, before finally moving to Hungary.


Website online since September 10 2005

November 13 2014 11:20 GMT