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HomeSearchGetRecordBallad Concerts (1867-1933)

Collection Description

Collection Title
Ballad Concerts (1867-1933)
A collection of 51 volumes of programmes from Ballad Concerts, 1867 to 1933. The programmes are from the significant series of ballad concerts, often entitled “London Ballad Concerts” or “Boosey Ballad Concerts”. The latter of these denotes the promoter of the concerts, Boosey & Co. The concerts were founded by the publisher to promote sales of their Ballad sheet music.

Most volumes in the collection contain a manuscript index, which is attached to the volume. These indexes list the items performed and corresponding page number. The programmes contain words to the items sung.

The programmes are from concerts that took place in St. James’s Hall (-1893), Queen’s Hall (1894-1907; 1927-1933) and Royal Albert Hall (1907-1927). At certain points in the collection, the programmes are from concerts that took place at regular points during the week; for instance, early programmes in the collection are from concerts given on Wednesdays.

The number of concerts per series varied; from approximately 1867 to 1903, there were frequently at least 12 concerts per season, occasionally more. The number of concerts appeared to have dropped after this time: for instance, there were eight concerts in 1912-1913, yet only four in 1928-1929. The final season represented in this collection – from the 1933 season – contained only one concert in the entire season.

The programmes are from concerts that consisted largely of vocal music. The concerts consisted chiefly of solo items; however later programmes in the collection also include choral items, and a few concert performances of opera. Solo vocal items were taken from a variety of sources, including light opera, serious opera and oratorio. Programmes often included a few instrumental items interspersed with the vocal items.

The collection includes a small amount of programmes from Morning Ballad Concerts. There are also a few miscellaneous programmes from, for instance, a Boosey’s Evening Recital in the Wigmore Hall.

The programmes are arranged chronologically.
Date range of collection
1867 - 1933
Accumulation Dates
Suggested Audience
Not Specific
Details also available
Most volumes have inventory of works performed, listed alphabetically
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