Eurovision timeline

A journey through our music history

Like the Eurovision song contest, Liverpool and the University have a rich muscial heritage spanning decades. Embark on a musical odyssey through history with our captivating music timeline.

Journey through the ages, from Liverpool Amateur Radio Society's groundbreaking first broadcast to the esteemed honorary degrees bestowed upon iconic figures like Yoko Ono, Pete Waterman, and Elvis Costello. Delve into the fascinating history of music research and world-first achievements that have transformed the way we experience and enjoy music.


The student-led ‘Liverpool Amateur Radio Society’ is founded at the Guild of Students.



Yehudi Menuhin, considered one of the great violinists of the 20th century is awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws.


The University admits undergraduates to the honours degree in Music for the first time.


A group of influential Liverpool poets including Adrian Henri (Hon LittD 2000), Roger McGough (Hon LittD 2006) and Andy Roberts (LLB 1968) release an album of poetry, music and satire as part of their band ‘The Liverpool Scene’.


The Who

The Who play Mountford Hall in the Guild for the princely sum of £1.


shirley thompson

Shirley J. Thompson OBE graduates with a BA (Hons) Music. Composer of symphonic and chamber music, she was the first woman of African heritage to create music for the BBC. She has been commissioned to write new music for the Coronation of King Charles III.


Chris Lowe forms The Pet Shop Boys with Neil Tennant after graduating BA (Hons) Architecture from the University of Liverpool.


The University’s Institute of Popular Music is founded.


World-renowned conductor Sir Simon Rattle receives his honorary degree from the University of Liverpool.


Organist of the Liverpool Cathedral, Noel Rawsthorne, received an honorary Doctor of Music from the University for his work with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra which included supervision of the refurbishment of the Rushworth and Dreaper organ in the Philharmonic Hall.


The University hosts the International Association for the Study of Popular Music conference with the theme ‘Popular Music – Past and Future’.


Yoko Ono

Yoko Ono Lennon is awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws by the University, 10 years after she established the John Lennon Memorial Scholarship Fund supporting students from Merseyside in financial need.


Conductor and composer Carl Davis is awarded an honorary degree. He has written music for more than 100 television programmes and collaborated with Paul McCartney for the Liverpool Oratorio celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic in 1991.


A large-scale setting of the psalm Nisi Dominus by Vivaldi is discovered by Emeritus Professor of Music Michael Talbot which had lain unnoticed in a Dresden library since the 18th century.


Pete Waterman, one-third of the hit songwriting team Stock Aitken Waterman is awarded an honorary degree by University College Chester, then part of the University of Liverpool.


Joan Rogers CBE, the English operatic soprano, becomes honorary Doctor of Music at the University. After graduating from the University in 1978, she entered the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.


A public event of music archives was held showing more than 50 years of popular music history housed within the University which included rare magazines and concert programmes.


Elvis Costello is awarded an honorary Doctor of Music by the University of Liverpool and the City of Liverpool becomes European Capital of Culture.


Composer Kenneth Hesketh and Principal Conductor Vasily Petrenko from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra become Honorary Professors at the University.


An extensive three-year research project by the University is undertaken which explores the contribution the famous Liverpool family music business, Rushworths, made to the cultural life of Liverpool.


The debut album, Chapman Square, is released by the band Lawson and reaches number three in the UK album chart. The lead singer, Andy Brown, is a graduate of the University gaining a BSc (Hons) in Internet Computing in 2008.


Liverpool becomes a UNESCO City of Music.


The Adagio sculpture, a 30ft kinetic sculpture rescued from the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall during refurbishments is installed in the newly refurbished Harold Cohen Library.


Dr Mike Jones, Reader in Music Industry, writes, directs and produces ‘George Harrison and Indian Music’ a concert performed at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.


Merciful Sound, a student-run record label is established offering undergraduate Music students a real-world opportunity to be part of a fully functioning independent record label.


The University launches the world’s first MA exploring the Beatles' impact on music and heritage.


Sean Ono Lennon officially opens the University's new Yoko Ono Lennon Centre, including the Tung Auditorium concert venue.


Nick Burgess, co-president of Parlaphone Records and Brit Award trustee, who works with artists including Lewis Capaldi and David Guetta, is awarded an honorary degree.

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