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HomeSearchGetRecordPhilharmonic Society (1820-1909)

Collection Description

Collection Title
Philharmonic Society (1820-1909)
A collection of 18 volumes of programmes from the Philharmonic Society, London. The programmes date from the years 1820 to 1909 – the society was founded in 1813 and is currently extant – but there are significant gaps in the holdings. There are no programmes in the collection for the years 1831-1868, 1873-1878 and 1900-1904. In addition, the volume from 1820 to 1830 has an annotation stating that the following programmes are wanting: 1821 (1, 4), 1822 (1, 5, 6, 7) and 1830 (2).

The collection contains programmes from concerts that took place in St. James’s Hall (1869-1893) and Queen’s Hall (1895-1909): though the venue is not listed on the programmes from 1820 to 1830, these concerts are likely to have taken place in the Hanover Square Rooms. The programmes contain analytical programme notes and musical examples. The collection also includes a publication from 1871 concerning the presentation of the Beethoven bust and a report from 1906 which lists the first performance of all soloists who have appeared at the series from 1813 to 1906. The programmes feature many different soloists and conductors: however, there are a number of programmes from concerts conducted by W.G. Cusins (in particular from the late 1860s and 1870s), Frederick Cowen (in particular from the 1880s and the 1900s) and Alexander C. Mackenzie (in particular from the 1890s). The concerts represented by the collection contain a number of world premieres of British and continental music – for example, Dvorak’s Cello concerto in B minor in 1896 – in particular from the 1890s.

The collection also contains a few miscellaneous programmes at the end of the 1889-1890 volume: there are programmes from concerts given at the Crystal Palace and programmes from concerts given at the Leeds music festival.

The programmes are chiefly arranged chronologically; however, the sequence is not entirely linear.
Date range of collection
1820 - 1909
Accumulation Dates
Suggested Audience
Not Specific
This collection is about

Location Details

Royal College Of Music, Library
London SW7 2BS
Open Map
020 7591 4723
Visiting Information
Mon-Fri by appointment
Building Information
The CPH collections now form part of the RCM Library. The majority of the concert programme collections are stored off-site so you need to request items before arriving. Requests for programmes are processed on Thursday for delivery to the library the following week. The Library itself is open Monday to Friday during term times and Tuesday to Friday during vacations. We can advise you about our hours when you contact us.
Display Overview
NEW CONTACT DETAILS: 020 7591 4723; [email protected]
For details of other collections held at the same location: See the location record

Additional Collection Information

Accrual Status
Related Publications
Management Information (Type)
Collection Owner(s)
Collection Creator(s)
Collection Collector(s)
Collection Custodians(s)
Associated Collection(s)
Cardif University (Prifysgol Caerdydd)Royal College of Music LondonMuseums, Libraries and Archives Council