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HomeSearchGetRecordInternational Society for Contemporary Music (1923-48)

Collection Description

Collection Title
International Society for Contemporary Music (1923-48)
Unique Identifier
A collection of prospectuses (with programmes) and other material relating to the first 22 Festivals of the International Society for Contemporary Music [ISCM], given in various European and American cities between 1923 and 1948, missing material for no. 5 (1927).

This material is held as parts 6 to 23 of shelfmark 7889.d.11, with Part 6 being further divided into tracts 1-6. Parts 14-16 are bound together, with the remainder being individual volumes.

Following a chamber music festival in 1923, separate festivals for orchestral and chamber music were given in 1924 and 1925. Thereafter, a single event was given, combining chamber, orchestral, vocal and choral performances.

Unless otherwise stated below, all brochures provide a list of the national and international committee members of the ISCM, carry a introductory statement or Foreword by the Society’s President (for the most part, Edward Dent) and include the texts for the vocal and choral works performed.

Where no other indication is given, all brochures from 1928 carry biographical, historical and descriptive notes. For the most part, these accompany the programmes themselves, although the material for the festivals of 1935-37, 1939 and 1947 provide the programmes first, followed by notes on each of the featured composers in turn.

Many of the programmes include photographs of the principal performers and composers.

Part 6
2-7 August 1923, Grossen Saal des Mozarteums, Salzburg: I. Kammermusikfest.
25 May-8 June 1924, Prague: International Music Festival. This document carries only outline programmes for the Festival period and includes no list of the committee members.
5-9 August 1824, Grossen Saal des Mozarteums, Salzburg: Zweites Kammermusikfest. This document carries neither an introductory statement nor a list of the committee members for the Festival but does provide a list of the performers engaged.
15-20 May 1925, Prague: Deuxieme Festival de Musique d’Orchestre. This document provides only outline programmes for the daily concerts and carries no list of committee members. There are additional notes for those attending the Festival, including lists of ticket prices.
3-8 September 1925, Venice: Terzo Festival di Musica da Camera. A list of performers is provided.
18-23 June 1926, Tonhalle, Zurich: Fourth Festival of the International Society for Contemporary Music. This document includes only an outline programmes for the daily performances and there is no introductory statement or list of committee members. A list of the performers is provided.

Part 7
10-15 September 1928, Siena
Held as a separate volume (but with the same part number) is an Identity Card, issued in respect of the Festival/Congress. This contains a description of the function of the card, which would appear to have related primarily to travel arrangements. It bears the signature of the President of the Congress and carries the name of the holder, Dorothy Wadham.

Part 8
6-10 April 1929, Genève

Part 9
1-8 September 1930, Liége

Part 10
21-28 July 1931, Oxford and London

Part 11
Prospectuses with programmes and words for the first four Chamber Music Festivals given by the International Society for Contemporary Music, held between 1923 and 1926 (tracts 1, 3, 5 and 6). Also, announcements with programmes, concerning the first and second Orchestral Festivals given by the same organization in Prague between 31 May and 2 June 1924 and 15 and 20 May 1925. See above.
All of these documents include some detailed information regarding the performers/performing ensembles engaged.

Part 12
9-15 June 1833, Amsterdam
The notes with this programme include some musical examples.

Part 13
2-7 April 1934, Firenze
This item carries some extensive handwritten annotations which provide both factual and subjective observations on the works performed.

Parts 14-16
Programme books for the 13-15th Festivals, given from 1-8 September 1935, 18-25 April 1936 and 20-27 June 1937 in Prague, Barcelona and Paris.
The notes for the 1936 festival include musical examples.

Part 17
17-24 June 1938, London
This document includes lists of the performing ensembles.

Part 18
14-21 April 1939, Krakow
The notes for this event include some musical examples. The volume concludes with a brief prospectus, containing summary programmes.

Part 19
16-27 May 1941, New York
Two copies of a two-sheet document offering a brief introductory paragraph and a list of the programmes to be given, with some information regarding the performers. There are no lists of the organizers/committee members or any words for the vocal pieces.

Part 20
1-9 August 1942, San Francisco
Bound with the programmes is an Invitation (unnamed) for a Reception after the Festival concert at the McMillin Theatre to meet the Composers and Artists.

Part 21
7-14 July 1946, London
This document begins with a list of the performing and ensembles and includes a summary list of the Complete Programme for the Week.

Part 22
29 May-4 June 1947, Copenhagen

Part 23
5-13 June 1948, Amsterdam
Programme and First List of Artists for the 22 Festival. This document contains only a preliminary programme of events, which provides details of the concerts to be given as well as of other activities taking place during the Festival.
Date range of collection
1923 - 1948
Accumulation Dates
Suggested Audience
Not Specific

Location Details

British Library
The British Library St Pancras ,96 Euston Road London NW1 2DB
Open Map
+44 (0)870 444
Visiting Information
Internet 24/7
Collections Overview
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