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HomeSearchGetRecordHerbert Howells (1949-77)

Collection Description

Collection Title
Herbert Howells (1949-77)
Unique Identifier
A collection of programmes for performances given at the Royal Albert Hall and Royal Festival Hall, London between 1949 and 1977, held loosely within Box G of the papers of the English composer Herbert Howells (1892–1983).

The collection includes programmes booklets for 7 orchestral performances given between 1949 and 1959, for which Howells provided historical and analytical notes, including musical examples, and programme books for three performances given at the Royal Albert Hall in 1961, 1956 and 1977 which included music by Howells.

In addition to these items (see below), the collection also includes the brochure for the Gloucester Musical Festival of 21-27 August 1971 (Three Choirs Festival no. 244) which begins with a Tribute to Arthur Bliss, written by Howells.

1. Programme notes
With the exception of that on 3 March 1952 (given by the London Symphony Orchestra), all of these concerts were given by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Adrian Boult (1949 and 1951) and Sir Malcolm Sargent (1952–59). In addition to the programme notes, these documents include photographs of the principal performances and lists of the orchestral ensemble.

- Royal Albert Hall
12 October 1949: BBC Symphony Concert with W. Backhaus (piano).
20 May 1951: Festival of Britain concert with the BBC Women's Chorus (2 copies).
21 November 1951: BBC Women's Chorus and Moiseiwitsch (piano).
3 March 1952: Henry Wood Birthday Promenade Concert given under the auspices of the Henry Wood Concert Society with John Heddle Nash (vocal) and Szigeti (violin).

- Royal Festival Hall
15 October 1952: Solomon (piano).
12 October 1955: BBC Symphony Concert with Clifford Curzon (piano) (two copies).
13 May 1959: Elgar-Delius-Holst Anniversary Concert given with the BBC Women's Chorus and Moiseiwitsch (piano) (two copies).

2. Concerts including music by Howells
All of these concerts featured the London Symphony Orchestra and those in 1951 and 1956 involved the Royal Choral Society, conducted by Sir Malcolm Sargent (season nos. 81 and 85). All programmes include words and brief historical notes.

1 December 1951: including Howells, Hymnus Paradisi and Honegger, King David, given by Isobel Baillie, Valetta Iacopi and William Herbert (vocal).
17 March 1956: including Elgar, Enigma Variations and Howells, Missa Sabrinensis (first London performance), with Elsie Morison, Marjorie Thomas, William Herbert, Gordon Clinton (vocal).
14 July 1977: Royal Silver Jubilee Celebration Concert given under the auspices of the National Federation of Music Societies, including Howells, Te Deum (Collegium Regale), given by Robert Tear (tenor) and Richard Popplewell (organ), conducted by Sir David Willcocks (with brief biographical notes and photographs).
Date range of collection
1949 - 1977
Accumulation Dates
Suggested Audience
Not Specific

Location Details

Royal College of Music, Library
Prince Consort Road London SW7 2BS United Kingdom
Open Map
020 7591 4323
020 7589 7740
Visiting Information
Loans of performance sets to individual societies or persons; binding; reprographics; photocopying; microform printing
Collections Overview
Founded in 1883, the RCM Library primarily supports the performance, study and research of RCM members. It is also open to the public for reference and research. It contains some 300,000 items, including significant collections of early printed and manuscript material from the 16th to 19th centuries, given to the College upon its foundation, specifically the Libraries of the Sacred Harmonic Society and of the Concerts of Ancient Music. Donations since have included autographs of composers of international renown, amongst them Beethoven, Chopin, Haydn, Mozart and Schubert, as well as manuscripts and archives of major British composers. Although a British bias is apparent, the collection also has significant German and Italian manuscripts and early printed holdings. Later acquisitions of printed music include large quantities of out-of-print material, and sizeable collections of performance sets. Audio-visual holdings and the RCM's own sound archive's are also extensive.
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