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HomeSearchGetRecordBoult Papers (1896-1969)

Collection Description

Collection Title
Boult Papers (1896-1969)
Unique Identifier
Add. 72677-72678
A collection of handbills, programmes and other material relating to concerts conducted by Adrian C. Boult (1880-1983) given at various venues in the England – principally London, Birmingham and Liverpool – Wales and the United States between 1915 and 1969, held loosely and arranged chronologically over three parcels.

The collection also includes programmes for various juvenile performances in which Boult featured either as a composer or vocal/instrumental performer, given on the following dates: 22 October [1900] (Brooke House, Blundellsands), 17 May 1901 (Westminster School), 12 January 1903 (Town Hall, Waterloo), 17 and 24 January 1905 (S. S. 'Durham Castle'), 19 March 1906 and 11 January 1911 (The Abbey Manor) and 18 September 1912 (Watermillock). The collection begins with a single-sided programme/handbill, attached to which is the following printed description: 'A family concert programme, dated 1896, and thought to have been printed by Adrian on a toy printing press which still survives'. The performance includes Mr and Mrs Discobbolos, with music by A. Boult.

The three parcels containing the collection are labelled 72677A, 72677B and 72678 and the material is divided as follows: 1896–1922, 1923–50 and 1952–69. Unless otherwise stated below, documents from 1952 onwards take the form of a programme books, with words and descriptive and analytical notes (many with musical examples).

Items are listed here by venue, divided as follows:
1. London
2. Birmingham
3. Liverpool
4. Miscellaneous venues in England
5. Foreign venues

In addition to the concert programmes listed below, the collection includes Orders of Service for the following dates: 26 June 1902 (St. Margaret's Church, Westminster), 26 June 1936 (Broadcasting House, London), 16 September 1955 (British Embassy, Warsaw) and 4 January 1966 (Westminster Abbey). That on 26 June 1936 was a Memorial Service to His Majesty King George V and the collection includes 2 difference service sheets, the first contains music for certain congregation parts of the service whilst the second carries handwritten annotations regarding performances instructions/directions. Parcel 1 of the collection also contains posters for 2 German performances conducted by Boult in 1922 and a prospectus for the Concerts de Primavera given by the Orquestra Pau Casals between May and June 1922 which Parcel 2 includes a copy of the London Orchestral Concerts Guide for October 1936.

1. London
- Institute School of Music, Hampstead Garden Suburb
22 March 1919: London Symphony Orchestra, led by Mr W. H. Reed (single-sheet programme with a list of the Institute teaching staff on the reverse).

- Kingsway Hall
[Oct/Nov. 1920]: Quinlan Subscription Concerts no.2, given by the British Symphony Orchestra with Joseph Hislop (vocal) and Jacques Thibaud (violin) (with wordbook and Biographical and Analytical Notes by Edwin Evans).

- Queen's Hall
With the exception of that given in 1936, all concerts listed here featured the London Symphony Orchestra.
4 and 18 February and 4 and 18 March 1918: 4 Symphony Concerts (prospectus plus individual programmes, each containing part of an ongoing historical essay on Modern English Music by Edward J. Dent ad a list of the orchestral ensemble).
16 March 1920: with Samuel Dushkin (violin), including the first English performance of Blair Fairchild, Etude Symphonique for Violin and Orchestra, op. 45 (with historical and analytical notes).
14 December 1920: Bach Choir 105th concert, with Sir Hugh P. Allen (additional conductor) (with wordbook, historical and analytical notes, musical examples, lists of the Members of the Society and a list of the orchestral ensemble).
19 December 1928: Bach Choir concert no. 1 (53rd season), with Dorothy Silk, Parry Jones, Catherine Stewart and Keith Falkner (vocal) (single-sided programme).
21 October 1936: BBC Symphony Orchestra and BBC Choral Society, featuring Jose Iturbi, Noel Eadie and William Parsons (vocal) (with historical and analytical notes by D. Millar Craig, musical examples, biographical notes and lists of the choral and orchestral ensembles).

- Royal Albert Hall
24 March 1934: Elgar Memorial Concert presented by the Royal Choral Society and the BBC and given by Astra Desmond, Steuart Wilson and Roy Henderson (vocal) with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Sir Landon Ronald (additional conductor) (handbill/poster).
12 June 1949: Choral and Orchestral Concert given by the Henry Wood Concert Society as part of the Elgar Festival, featuring Anthony Quayle and Mary Jarred, the Alexandra Choir and BBC Symphony Orchestra (with words, historical and analytical notes by Edwin Evans, a biographical essay on Elgar by Arnold Bax and photographs).
12 October 1949 and 19 April 1950: BBC Symphony Concerts with the BBC Symphony Orchestra (with historical and analytical notes and musical examples, including a separate document containing notes for 1950).
15 June 1950: National Singing Festival, given by their massed Choirs of the National Federation of Women's Institutions and the London Symphony Orchestra (with wordbook).
9 September 1958: Henry Wood Promenade Concerts (64th season) by the London Philharmonic Orchestra with Lois Marshall (vocal) and Lionel Bowman (piano).
30 October 1966: Havergal Brian, Gothic Symphony given by the BBC Symphony Orchestra with the BBC Choral Society, City of London Choir, Hampstead Choral Society, Choir of Emanuel School, Orpington Junior Singers, Honor Sheppard, Shirley Minty, Ronald Dowd and Roger Stalman (vocal) (with photographs and a list of the orchestral ensemble).
8 April 1969: Sir Adrian Boult 80th Birthday Concert, given by Yehudi Menuhin (violin) and Ralph Downes (organ) with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, Bach Choir, BBC Choral Society, Croydon Philharmonic Choir, Goldsmiths' Choral Union, Ripley Choir, Bromley (with biographical note and photograph on Boult and a handwritten message from Boult on the cover).

- Royal College of Music
29 October 1920 and 28 October 1921: College Concert Nos. 674 697 (Orchestral) with Charles V. Stanford (additional conductor) (with wordbook).
9 November 1920: Orchestral Concert, for the Royal College of Music's Patron's Fund, by the London Symphony Orchestra, including the first performance of Albert Coates, Excerpts from the opera 'The Myth Beautiful' (with wordbook and brief descriptive notes).
8 December 1969: Tribute to Sir Hugh Percy Allen to mark the centenary of his birth, given by ensembles from the Royal College of Music with David Lumsden and Harvey Phillips (additional conductors) and the Choir of New College Oxford (double-sided handbill).

- Royal Festival Hall
With the exception of the concerts given for the Philharmonia Concert Society, all performances at this venue featured the London Philharmonic Orchestra
12 October 1952: 80th birthday of Dr Ralph Vaughan Williams, with Margaret Ritchie (soprano), Frederick Riddle (viola), the London Philharmonic Choir and a section of the Luton Girls’ Choir (with a Tribute on Behalf of the Musicians of Britain by Sir Arnold Bax and a biographical essay of Vaughan Williams by Frank Howes).
15 April 1954: with Margaret Ritchie (soprano) and a section of the London Philharmonic Choir (with a list of the orchestral ensemble).
6 October 1957: with members of the London Philharmonic Choir, Moura Lympany (piano) and Frederic Jackson (additional conductor) (with biographical notes and photographs).
9 October 1957: Programme of works by Ralph Vaughan Williams in honour of his eighty-fifth birthday, given as the first concert of the 146th season of the Royal Philharmonic Society with William Herbert (vocal).
13 November 1959: Music of the 20th Century: a concert version of Busoni, Doktor Faust, with the London Philharmonic Choir and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Faust) (with biographical notes and a list of the orchestral ensemble).
17 January 1961: A Tribute to Sir Adrian Boult, with Alfredo Campoli (with biographical notes, photographs and a list of the list of the orchestral ensemble).
10 December 1961, 14 May 1962 and 23 March 1964: Philharmonia Orchestra for the Philharmonia Concert Society, with Malcolm Frager (piano, 1961), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (vocal, 1962) and Ralph Downes (organ, 1964) (with biographical notes and photographs).
15 September 1965: Royal Philharmonic Society no. 1 (154th season) (with photographs).

- Westminster Abbey
8-14 May 1966: 'Homage to Music', given to mark the 900th Anniversary Year of the Abbey, with Sir Arthur Bliss, Antal Dorati, Raymond Leppard and David Willcocks and Douglas Guest (additional conductors) (prospectus with programmes and wordbooks, including an introductory list of the principal performers, plus a handbill with programme for the performance given by the Royal College of Music)

- [no venue]
26 May [1947]: Grand Orchestral Concert in Honour of H.M. Queen Mary's 80th Birthday, with Elizabeth Schumann and Phyllis Sellick and the BBC Symphony Orchestra (handbill).

2. Birmingham
All concerts took place in the Town Hall, Birmingham and featured the City of Birmingham Orchestra (1929)/City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (form 1957).
26 and 28 March 1929: J. S. Bach, St. Matthew Passion with Dorothy Silk, Margaret Balfour, Steuart Wilson and Arthur Cranmer (vocal) and the Birmingham Festival Choral Society (with wordbook).
11 April 1957: Thursday Symphony Concert, with Ruth Packer, Nancy Thomas, Eric Greene and Hervey Alan (vocal) and the City of Birmingham Choir.
23 March 1961: (with a list of the orchestral ensemble).
4 December 1969: with Clifford Curzon (piano) (with biographical notes and a list of the orchestral ensemble).
In addition to the individual programmes, the collection includes prospectuses for series of performances given by the City of Birmingham Orchestra during the seasons 1924–25, 1925–26, 1927–28 and 1928–29, with Adrian Boult as musical director. These documents include biographical notes on certain key composers and performances, some with photographs. Inserted in the document for 1924–25 is a double-sided sheet of handwritten notes, presumably by Boult, regarding the organization of the orchestra/series.

2. Liverpool
- David Lewis Theatre
6 and 20 October, 3 and 17 November and 1 and 15 December 1915: Popular Orchestral Concerts (prospectus). These were a continuation of the Sun Hall series and also featured musicians drawn from the Liverpool Philharmonic and Hallé orchestras.

- Liverpool Institute
30 March 1916: Orchestral Concert, with Fanny Davies (piano) and Mr R. Crawshaw (vocal), led by Mr John Lawson (single-sided programme).

- Philharmonic Hall
7 March 1942 and 10 March 1945: Liverpool Philharmonic Society 15th concert (103rd season)/16th concert (106th season), given by the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir with vocalists Mary Jarred, Jan van der Gucht and Williams Parsons (1942)/Gladys Ripley, Heddle Nash and William Parsons (1945) (with words, historical and analytical notes by A.K. Holland and lists of the choral and orchestral ensembles).
22 November 1945: Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra 7th Thursday Evening Concert (with historical and descriptive notes and a list of the orchestral ensemble).
4 March 1967: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (with a biographical note on Boult).

- Sun Hall, Kensington
20 and 27 January and 3, 10, 17 and 24 February [1915]: Mr Adrian C. Boult's series of Six Popular Orchestral Concerts, given by a full orchestra consisting of Liverpool Philharmonic and Hallé musicians (prospectus with biographical note on Boult plus individual programmes with historical and descriptive notes, a list of the orchestral ensemble and handwritten annotations regarding performance timings). Each of these concerts featured 'at least one orchestral work by a British composer'. Held with these programmes is a financial statement. There is also a separate report of the series including a Balance Sheet and a list of Attendances.

4. Miscellaneous venues
- Aberystwyth, University College of Wales
8 February 1923: University College of Wales 104th College Concert, with vocalists Mr T. Pickering and Miss Dorothy Henry (single-sided programme).

- Bedford, Corn Exchange
All concerts were given by the BBC Symphony Orchestra
January–March 1943: Symphony Concerts and Lunch-Hour Concerts (prospectus).
16 October 1944: with Clarence Raybould, Leslie Woodgate and Capt. Eugene Cruft (with a list of the orchestral ensemble).
16 July 1945: Farewell to Bedford Concert, with Frederick Thurston (clarinet) with Clarence Raybould (additional conductor) (with historical and descriptive notes, photographs and a list of the orchestral ensemble).

- Bristol, Theatre Royal, King Street
18 October-6 November 1926: Bristol Opera Season (prospectus). Also held is a photocopy of a playbill plus individual programmes for four performances given during the season. The playbill cites the involvement of a 'Band of 42 Player [being] a contingent of the Birmingham Municipal Orchestra, conducted by Dame Ethel Smyth, Adrian Boult and Berhard Ord'. Two of the programmes relate to performances of 'The Travelling Companion' (music by Stanford) conducted by Boult and a third to a Gala Night conducted by the same. The fourth programme is for a further performance of 'The Travelling Companion' conducted by Bernhard Ord.

- Cheltenham, Town Hall
7 November 1946: Elgar, The Dream of Gerontius, given by Gladys Ripley, Heddle Nash and Norman Walker (vocal) and the Cheltenham Choral Society and Cheltenham (BBC) Male Voice Choir with the Cheltenham Philharmonic Orchestra (with words a brief plot synopsis).

- Dorking Hall
11 October 1952: Birthday Celebration Concert in honour of Ralph Vaughan Williams given as part of the Leith Hill Musical Festival by Miss Isobel Baillie and Arthur Cranmer (vocal), led by Mr Isidore Schwiller, with Dr William Cole (additional conductor) (with wordbook).

- Hanley, Victoria Hall
20 September 1941: Carnegie Trust Concert given by the Hallé Orchestra with Louis Kentner (piano) (with historical and analytical notes by John F. Russell).

- Mountain Ash, Pavilion
24 October 1921: London Symphony Orchestra as part of the Welsh Musical Festival with Cyril Jenkins, Granville Bantock and Appleby Matthews (additional conductors), including a number of first performances (with historical and descriptive notes).

- Oxford, Christ Church College, University of Oxford
2 August 1925: Unaccompanied Singing on the Hall Staircase, given during the Fourth Oxford Summer School in Music Teaching (single-sided programme).

- Oxford, [no venue]
2-8 May 1926: Oxford Festival of Music in commemoration of William Heather, under the general direction of Sir Hugh Allen, including orchestral performances conducted by Boult (Programme and Words of the Music with Notes).

- Windsor, St. George's Chapel, Windsor Caste
15 July 1931: A Recital of Choral and Organ Music.

- [unknown], The Wick
21 June 1919: Crossing, a play for children of all ages by Walter de la Mare with music by C. Armstrong Gibbs (with a list of the orchestral ensemble).

4. Foreign performances
- Chicago
29 June-6 August 1949: Ravinia Festival: Music of the Stars (Souvenir Brochure, including programmes with notes, biographical notes and photographs). This event included a sequence of performances given by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (29 and 30 June and 1 and 2 July). Inserted in the document is a handbill with programmes for four further performances given by the Chicago Orchestra (with Boult) during the 5th week of the Festival (26, 28, 30 and 31 July).

- Lenox, Music Shed at Tanglewood
8-10 July 1966, Music Shed at Tanglewood, Lenox, Massachusetts
Prospectus with programmes for a sequence of Mozart performances given by the Boston Symphony Orchestra during the second week of the Berkshire Festival, including a concert on 10 July conducted by Sir Adrian Boult (10 July) (prospectus with biographical notes, photographs, lists of the various committee members of the Festival and a list of the orchestral ensemble).

- New York, NBC Studio, 8-H Radio City
14 and 21 May 1938: NBC Symphony Orchestra, the second concert being an 'All-English Program' (programme cards).
Date range of collection
1896 - 1969
Accumulation Dates
Suggested Audience
Not Specific
Associated People or Organisations

Location Details

British Library, Music Collections
96 Euston Road London NW1 2DB
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020 7412 7772
020 7412 7751
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Additional Collection Information

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Collection Owner(s)
Collection Creator(s)
Collection Collector(s)
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Associated Collection(s)
Cardif University (Prifysgol Caerdydd)Royal College of Music LondonMuseums, Libraries and Archives Council