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HomeSearchGetRecordHumphrey Searle Collection (1940-76)

Collection Description

Collection Title
Humphrey Searle Collection (1940-76)
Unique Identifier
Add. 71834
A collection of handbills and programmes for performances of music by the English composer Humphrey Searle (1915-82), given at various venues in the United Kingdom, Eurpe and America between 1940 and 1976 held as the last of three volumes of concert programmes within the Humphrey Searle collection.

The volume is ordered with programmes for the period 1940–76 arranged in a largely chronological fashion, followed by programmes for which no year is given. The volume concludes with a collection of newspaper cuttings relating to broadcast performances of music by Searle and there is also some additional material regarding musical and non-musical broadcasts.

Items are listed alphabetically by venue and divided as follows:
1. London venues
2. Other venues in the United Kingdom
3. European venues
4. American venues
5. Miscellaneous material

1. London venues
- 20 Pont Street
20 January [no year]: Piano Recital by Liza Fuchsova (handbill).

- Aeolian Hall
17 April [no year]: London String Orchestra with Robert Irving (piano), conducted by Humphrey Searle, including: Searle, Scherzo malinconico (first performance); Webern, Five Movements for String Orchestra, op. 5 (first English performance); Bernard van Dieren, Adagio cantando from Quartet No. 5 (first orchestral performance) (with brief historical and descriptive notes and accompanied by a press cutting).

- Agricultural House, 27-31 Knightsbridge, Queen Elizabeth Room
4 March 1969: Vocal Recital by Viorica Cortez, accompanied by John Constable (single-sided programme).

- Chelsea, Town Hall
30 September, 14 and 28 October and 11 November [no year]: Thursday Concerts, given by the Goldsbrough Orchestra and the Hurwitz Chamber Ensemble, conducted by Harry Samuel and Edward Lockspeiser (single document).
5 November [no year]: Morley College Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Lawrence Leonard, including the first English public performance of Searle, Symphony No. 1.

- Friends International Centre, Byng Place
29 January 1967: 'Problems of Communication in Contemporary Music', Lecture Recital given by the St. James's Ensemble, conducted by Brian Fernyhough (single-sided programme).
- M.M. Club, 14 Argyll Street
25 February 1940: An Informal Concert of Chamber Music by Humphrey Searle, with John McKenna (tenor), Daphne Blackwall (harpsichord/piano), Trude Huttenbach (violin) and Otto Huttenbach (cello) and the Macnaghten Quartet (double-sided handbill).

- Morley College: Emma Cons Hall
24 March [no year]: including the first performance of Harry Samuel, Sequence for Orchestra and the first London performance of Searle, Symphony No. 2 (single-sheet programmes).
23 May [no year]: including the first performance of Anthony Milner, A New Overture and Carlo Martelli, Symphony No. 2, and the first London performance of Searle, Symphony No. 3 (single-sheet programme).
1 December [no year]: with Morley College Choi and Trinity College Children's Chorus, and Alan Boustead (additional conductor), including the first British performance of Menotti, The Death of the Bishop of Brindisi (single-sheet programme).
All concerts featured the Morley College Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leonard Lawrence.

- Priory Church of St. Bartholomew the Great, West Smithfield
18 July 1962: A Concert of Twentieth-Century English Church and Organ Music given by the Elizabethan Singers with Richard Popplewell (organ), conducted by Louis Halsey.

- Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall
11 May [no year]: Virtuoso Ensemble of London.

- RBA Galleries, Suffolk Street
14 December 1948: Twelve Note Music Today, presented by the Institute of Contemporary Arts and given by Emilie Hooke (soprano), Liza Fuchsova (piano) and the London Symphony Orchestra Chamber Ensemble (Invitation Card, which also refers to a 'Discussion', held on 16 December).
1949 season: London Contemporary Music Centre, 27th Season, in association with the Arts Council of Great Britain (prospectus).

- Royal Albert Hall
12-17 January [no year]: 6 Winter Promenade Concerts, with the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Adrian Boult, George Stratton and George Weldon (single document).
5-11 September [no year]: 6 performances by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and London Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Sir Adrian Boult and Basil Cameron (single document). No venue is given for these concerts, although it is likely that they formed part of the Promenade Concert series.

- Royal College of Music
11 June [no year]: Lunch-Hour Concert by the Students' Association Orchestra with Maurice Checker (oboe) and Dorothy Wayland (piano), conducted by James Lockhart, including the first English performance of Searle, Concertante for Piano, Strings and Percussion.

- St. John's Smith Square
4 December [no year]: BBC Lunchtime Recital given the BBC Training Orchestra, conducted by Meredith Davies (single-sheet programme).

- Wigmore Hall
16 September and 17 November [1943]: Two Orchestral Concerts conducted by Walter Goehr, that in September including the first performance of Searle, Suite for Strings (handbill).
9 and 16 March 1949: Lunch Hour Concerts (single document). The first concert featured Nona Liddell (violin), Douglas Craig (baritone) and Wilfrid Dunwell and Daphne Ibbott (piano) and included the first performances of works by Gilbert Harris and Robert Still as well as the first English performance of a violin sonata by William Lovelock. The second featured Joyce Hedges (piano), Marian Attwood (oboe) and George Delderfield (bass), accompanied by Mildred Litherland.

- [no venue]
28 October [1970]: London Clarinet Septet (London debut), presented by the Kensington Music Society and conducted by Peter Murray, including the first performance of Searle, Divertimento, op. 54 and Paul Harvey, 'Hallo' variations (handbill).

2. Other venues in the United Kingdom
- Attingham Park
23 August 1956: Recital by Emilie Hooke (soprano) and Peter Stadlen and Gordon Watson (piano), including Searle, Piano Sonata in one movement, introduced by the composer.
20 August 1956: Thea King (clarinet), Sylvia Cleaver (violin), Harold Harriott (viola), Derek Simpson (cello), Gordon Watson (piano) and Pauline Lewis (soprano), including the first performance of Searle, Suite for Clarinet and Piano.
Both concerts formed part of the 8th Annual Music Summer School at the Shropshire Adult College.

- Liverpool, Philharmonic Hall
22 September and 20 October 1958 and 16 February and 4 May 1959: Musica Viva! directed by John Pritchard for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society, the concert on 20 October including the first performance of Searle, Symphony No. 2 (handbill)

- Liverpool, Royal Institute, Colquitt Street
9, 16, 23 and 30 May and 6 June [no year]: Modern British Music, five lectures given under the auspices of the University of Liverpool, Department of Extra-Mural Studies (prospectus).

3. European venues
- Germany
4 May 1955, 21 May, 1955 and 23 September 1955: Rolf Ermeler (flute) and Maria Ermeler-Lortzing (piano), given at the following venues: Neuen Saal der Städtischen Akademie für Tonkunst, Darmstadt; the British Centre, Frankfurt; and the Chorsaal des Stadttheater, Duisburg

- Paris
21-26 October 1954: Festival de Musique given by the Centre de Documentation de Musique Internationale, with Radiodiffusion-Télévision Francaise (prospectus).

- Vienna
11-19 October [no year]: British Music Week, organized by the Österreichische Gesellschaft für Musik and the British Council and entitled ‘Musik der Elisabethanischen Epochen' (prospectus).

4. American venues
- Aspen
Summer 1967: Aspen Music Festival (prospectus).

- Los Angeles, University of Southern California: Arnold Schoenberg Institute
13 February [no year]: Preview and Reception, including the first performance of Fanfare on Motifs of Die Gurrelieder and a lecture from Searle (Invitation Card).

- Los Angeles, University of Southern California: Hancock Auditorium
19 November 1976: Faculty Composers' Concert, including the first US performance of Searle, Les Fleurs du Mal (with programme notes and biographical notes on Searle, who was, at that time, Visiting Professor in Composition at the University of Southern California).

- New York
3 and 17 May 1955: Composers of Today, Inc., including the first performance of works by Julia Perry (3 May) and Humphrey Searle, Ralph Shapey and Alberto Ginastera (17 May) (single document).

- Saint Paul, Hamline University: Bridgman Hall
17 January [no year]: 9th Concert of the International Society for Contemporary Music, United States Section, Twin Cities Chapter, hosted by the Department of Music at Hamline University (handbill).

- Stanford, Stanford University: Dinkelspiel Auditorium
7 January 1965: Piano Recital by Gordon Watson (handbill).

- Stanford, Stanford University: Memorial Church
17 October 1976: Organ Recital by Pamela Decker, including the American premiere of Searle, Fantasy-Toccata for Organ, op. 59 (handbill).

5. Miscellaneous material
a) BBC Third Programme
- An outline for a performance entitled Contemporary British Composers: Humphrey Searle, given on 15 December [YEAR NEED] at an unspecified venue with Peter Pears (tenor), Peter Stadlen (piano) and the Aeolian String Quartet (with biographical and descriptive notes).
- A memo regarding the broadcast of Searle, Symphony No. 4, given on 30 June 1965 and played by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, conducted by the composer.
- A single-sided programme for New Music, aired on 26 March [no year], including the first performance of Geoffrey Bush, Four Songs from 'The Hesperides' and the first broadcast performances of Malcolm Arnold, Quintet for flute, violin, viola, horn and bassoon and Searle, Quartet for Violin, Viola, Clarinet and Bassoon.

b) Other material
- a printed statement entitled BBC Music News (dated 22 September), detailing a broadcast to be given by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Hermann Scherchen, on 4 October, including the first English performance of Malipiero, Symphonic Poem, 'Lanterna Magica'. Also, the first English broadcast performances of Searle, The Riverrun, and Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Symphony No. 6.
- a programme booklet regarding The Serpent Son, a BBC Television production in three parts.
- a single-sheet document regarding The Road from M.I.S, a number of filmed episodes with music composed by Humphrey Searle.
- a Brochure and Press Notice regarding Woodland Harvest, a British Transport Film made for the Forestry Commission with music by Searle.
Date range of collection
1940 - 1976
Accumulation Dates
Suggested Audience
Not Specific
Associated People or Organisations

Location Details

British Library, Music Collections
96 Euston Road London NW1 2DB
Open Map
020 7412 7772
020 7412 7751
Visiting Information
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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