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HomeSearchGetRecordRoyal Academy of Music (1824-)

Collection Description

Collection Title
Royal Academy of Music (1824-)
A collection of programmes from concerts given by, and at, the Royal Academy of Music, from 1824 to the present day. There is a significant gap in the collection from 1826 to 1876. The majority of programmes in the collection are from concerts which were organised by the Royal Academy of Music – or in the case of the early nineteenth-century programmes, it is often explicitly stated that performers were students at the Royal Academy – rather than concerts which have used the Royal Academy of Music as a concert venue. The collection contains programmes from concerts which took place both within and outside of the various Royal Academy buildings.

There are 10 volumes from 1824 to 1910, with the 1879 programmes starting part-way through the first volume. In addition, there are a separate collection of three volumes and some loose programmes from the years 1824 to 1826. There is one box of miscellaneous loose programmes from the mid-1830s to 1910, with the majority of material covering the period 1879 onwards. There are 34 boxes from 1911 to 2006: each year is housed in one separate box, for the most recent material.

The programmes from 1824 to 1826 are from concerts featuring students of the Royal Academy of Music, but took place in a variety of concert venues. Venues included the Argyll Rooms, Hanover Square Rooms (1825) and the King’s Antient Concert Rooms (1825 and 1826). The collection also includes an opera performance in the Great Concert Room, King’s Theatre. Some of the programmes in the collection relate to the series “Royal Academic Concerts”, which took place in the King’s Antient Concert Rooms. These were subscription concerts, which took place on Mondays on roughly a fortnightly basis. The concerts were conducted by William Crotch, and consisted of overtures, sinfonias, vocal music and chamber music.

Though there are no sequences of programmes from 1826 to 1876 exclusive, there is a very small amount of unbound miscellaneous programmes: these include a programme from 1858 at St. James’s Hall, and programmes from 1837 and 1868 at the Hanover Square Rooms. In addition, there are programmes from the first British performance of “The Seasons” (Haydn). This performance was given by students of the Royal Academy of Music on the 11th April 1935, in the Hanover Square Rooms.

The programmes from 1876 to 1910 include a number of programmes from St. James’s Hall. This was virtually the sole venue for concerts up until 1896. From 1896 onwards, the collection becomes mixed with programmes form the Queen’s Hall as well as a few from St. James’s Hall. From 1901 onwards, the collection contains an increasing percentage of programmes from concerts that took place at the Royal Academy. The concerts are usually described as either a “Student’s Chamber Concert” of a “Student’s Orchestral Concert”. Conductors of orchestral concerts included Academy principals A.C. Mackenzie and Macfarren. In addition, there is a proliferation of concerts entitled “Student’s Orchestral Concert” from 1901 onwards. The collection also contains a number of programmes from non-concert events, including performances at the Criterion Theatre, Royal Lyceum theatre and St. George’s Hall, Langham Place. There is a programme from the Scala Theatre from 1910, which also includes a report of the laying of the foundation stone of the new Marylebone Road building.

The programmes from 1911 are more homogenous in their venues than previous years. Though venues such as the Queen’s Theatre, Scala Theatre (chiefly for prize-giving) and Aeolian Hall are represented in the collection, by the 1930s the majority of programmes are from concerts that took place within the Royal Academy. Venues used within the Royal Academy include the Duke’s Hall, Jack Lyons Theatre, and the David Josefowitz Recital Hall (from 2001 onwards). There are some programmes from more recent years which took place outside of the Academy: these venues include St. Marylebone Parish Church and the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Mayfair.

The type of concert varies, but included performances by the Concert Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra, Royal Academy Soloists, Jazz Orchestra and Academy Symphonic Brass. There are also programmes from concerts given by the Junior Academy, including the Junior Academy Symphony Orchestra. As well as many soloists and chamber ensembles from the Academy, some programmes are from concerts promoted by the Royal Academy featuring external musicians. In addition, the collection includes diaries of events, departmental prospectuses, graduations booklets and details of Royal Academy of Music prize-winners.

The programmes are largely in chronological order. There are separate sequences for bound and unbound programmes.
Date range of collection
1824 -
Accumulation Dates
Suggested Audience
Not Specific
This collection is about

Location Details

Royal Academy of Music, Library
Marylebone Road London NW1 5HT
Open Map
020 7873 7323
020 7873 7322
Visiting Information
Term-Time Opening Hours: Monday to Friday: 9.00–18.00 Saturdays: 9.00–12.00 (Junior Academy terms only) Vacation hours vary and are advertised in the Library Information section in the on-line Unicorn Catalogue.
Collections Overview
Books; printed music; sound recordings; choral sets; orchestral sets; manuscripts; early printed music & books; undergraduate & research
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