The collection contains programmes for concerts that took place in shops within London, including music shops, department stores (especially Harrods, Heals and Peter Jones) and auction houses (Christie’s and Sothebys). The majority of programmes are from recitals, but there is also a significant collection of programmes from opera performances at the Peter Jones department store. These were produced by the John Lewis music society, and include some premieres of works within England, for example the first staged premiere in England of Rusalka (1950). The programmes are arranged alphabetically by shop name.
Separately, there is also a programme from the St. Martin’s lane show rooms, for a concert by the Apollonican (“a large barrel and finger organ” – Grove) on 18/2/1819.
Hotels and restaurants:
The collection consists of concert programmes from concerts and musical events that took place in hotels and restaurants, mostly from the late nineteenth-century to the 1920s. Most venues are hotels or restaurants within hotels, but the types of musical events that are covered include concerts, balls, dinners or banquets and combinations of concerts/dinners. A sizeable amount of the material is from charity concerts or events. Hotels covered include Claridge’s, Hyde Park Hotel, the Ritz and the Savoy. Series of concerts covered include a collection from the Concert-goers’ club concerts at the Langham hotel and a collection of programmes from the London lieder concerts at the Hyde Park hotel. There are also programmes from the 1st world war, including a programme from “War emergency entertainments” which took place at Claridge’s hotel. The programmes are arranged alphabetically by hotel name, missing off the prefix “hotel” from the filing order (e.g. “Hotel Cecil” is filed before “Claridge’s hotel”).