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HomeSearchGetRecordLeeds Musical Festival (1953-76)

Collection Description

Collection Title
Leeds Musical Festival (1953-76)
Unique Identifier
A prospectus, with preliminary programmes, for the Leeds Musical Festival of 1953. Also, brochures containing programmes and wordbooks for the Festivals of 1964, 1967, 1970, 1972, 1974 and 1976, the whole held as four volumes.

Both the prospectus and the brochures begin with a list of the Patrons and Committee members for the Festival. The prospectuses conclude with a full record of the members of the various choral, orchestral and chamber ensembles engaged. Photographs of key personnel (patrons, composers and performers) are inserted throughout both prospectus and brochures.

The majority of the programmes contained in the brochures carry historical and analytical notes, some with musical examples. Each brochure also includes a number of essays on musical subjects (listed below) as well as providing information regarding the non-musical portion of the Festival programme, including exhibitions and film presentations.

Unless otherwise stated below, the evening performances took place in the Town Hall, Leeds. Where no other indication is given, these were choral-orchestral concerts, featuring the Festival Chorus. The morning performances are described in detail below.

Volume 1: 1953
This document begins with a list of the principal vocal and instrumental performers engaged for the Festival.
Vocal: Eleanor Houston, Elsie Morison, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Jennifer Vyvyan, Hélène Bouvier, Joan Gray and Marjorie Thomas; William Herbert, William McAlpine, Richard Lewis, Julius Patzak, Peter Pears, Bruce Boyce, Owen Brannigan, John Cameron, Gordon Clinton, Frederick Dalberg, Bruce Dargavel, Tom Moore and Norman Walker, with the Bradford Festival Choral Society and the Colne Valley Male Voice Choir (dir. George Stead), Huddersfield Choral Society and Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus (dir. Herbert Bardgett) and Leeds Philharmonic Society (dir. Allan Wicks).

Instrumental: Clifford Curzon (piano), Norbert Brainin (violin), Peter Schidlof (viola), John Burden (horn) and Melville Cook (organ), with the London Symphony Orchestra (led by Thomas Matthews and conducted by Josef Krips) and the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra (led by Reginald Whitehouse and conducted by Sir Malcolm Sargent and Maurice Miles).

In addition to full programmes for the evening performances (given each day), this document includes a list of the Service Music for the Festival week and a brief summary of the Morning Concerts, which took place as follows:
6 October 1953, Civic Theatre: violin sonatas by Purcell, Bach and Delius, with a new work (Choral Scene) by Phyllis Tate.
7 October 1953, Temple Newsam House: Amadeus String Quartet.
8 October 1953, Harewood House: Quintet (Mozart) and modern works; Hardy Songs (new work by Britten).
9 October 1953, Temple Newsam House: Lieder Recital, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, accompanied by Gerald Moore.
10 October 1953, Harewood House: Duets, Trios, etc (Purcell); Liebeslieder Waltzes (Brahms) and other items.

Volume 2: 1964, 1967, 1970
- 18-25 April 1964
19 April 1964, Parish Church: service music, with Donald Hunt (organ).
20 April 1964, University of Leeds, Great Hall: chamber concert by the New Manchester Ensemble, conducted by George Hadjinikos with Vera Roja (speaker) and William Waterhouse (bassoon).
21 April 1964, Leeds Parish Church: Parish Church Choir, with Donald Hunt (organist and choir master), Herbert Sumsion (guest organist), and Donald Webster (sub-organist).
23 April 1964, Temple Newsam: Oromonte Trio (Perry Hart, Margaret Major and Bruno Schrecker) with Gareth Morris (flute).
24 April 1964, University of Leeds, Great Hall: Melos Ensemble, with Peter Graeme (oboe), Gervase de Peyer (clarinet), William Waterhouse (bassoon), Neill Sanders (horn), Emanuel Hurwitz and Ivor McMahon (violin), Cecil Aronowitz (viola), Terence Weil (cello) and Lamar Crowson (piano).
25 April 1964, University of Leeds, Great Hall: Julian Bream (lute and guitar).

The performances on 18, 20 and 21 April featured the Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Carlo Maria Giulini. Those from 23-25 April were given by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by John Pritchard (23 and 24 April) and Charles Munch (25 April).
18 April 1964: Beethoven, Symphony Nos.8 and 9, with Heather Harper, Helen Watts, Ken Neate and David Ward (vocal).
19 April 1964: Lieder Recital, Irmgard Seefried (soprano), accompanied by Erik Werba.
20 April 1964: Luisa Bosabalian (soprano) and Donald Hunt (additional conductor).
21 April 1964: Michael Roll (piano).
22 April 1964: Violin recital by Yehudi Menuhin (violin) and Hephzibah Menuhin (piano).
23 April 1964: Britten, War Requiem, with the boy choristers of York Minster and Leeds Parish Church, the Melos Ensemble and Heather Harper, William McAlpine and Hans Wilbrink (vocal).
24 April 1964: including the British premiere of Henze, Novae de Infinito Laudes, with Heather Harper, Jean Allister, Ken Neate and Hans Wilbrink (vocal) and Vladimir Krainev (piano).
25 April 1964: Berlioz, Grande Messe des Morts, with William McAlpine (tenor).

Essays: Ernest Bradbury (‘The Musical Future of Leeds’) and Hans Keller (‘To Vie or not to Vie?’).

- 15-22 April 1967
15 April 1967, Leeds Grammar School: Delme Quartet (Granville Jones, Jurgen Hess, John Underwood and Joy Hall), with John Gray (double bass) and Hans Leygraf (piano).
16 April 1967, Parish Church: service music, including the first performance of a Festival Anthem by Anthony Milner. Accompanying this very brief programme is a note outlining the music to be used at the Parish Church during the remainder of the Festival week.
17 April 1967, Temple Newsam: Piano recital, Hans Leygraf.
18 April 1967, Parish Church: Leeds Parish Church Choir, with Donald Hunt (conductor and organist), George Guest (organ), Roger Bullivant (harpsichord) and a string ensemble led by Douglas Hall.
20 April 1967, Temple Newsam: Malcolm Binns (piano) and Manoug Parikian (violin).
21 April 1967, Temple Newsam: Delme Quartet (as above).
22 April 1967, University of Leeds, Great Hall: Melos Ensemble.

The performances from 14-16 April featured the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Istvan Kertesz (14/15 April) and Colin Davies (16 April). Those on 19, 21 and 22 April were given by the New Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Edward Downes (19 April) and Carlo Maria Giulini (21/22 April).
14 April 1967: Haydn, The Creation, with Elizabeth Harwood, Alexander Young and Don Garrad (vocal).
15 April 1967: including the premiere of Richard Rodney Bennett, Epithalamion, with Norma Procter, Kenneth Bowen and Raimund Herincx (vocal) and Donald Hunt (additional conductor).
16 April 1967: Piano recital, Rafael Orozco.
17 April 1967: Berlioz, The Damnation of Faust, with Yvonne Minton, Albert Lance, Raimund Herincx and Colin Wheatley (vocal).
18 April 1967, University of Leeds, Great Hall: Schubert Recital, Barry MacDaniel (baritone) and Hans Leygraf (piano).
19 April 1967: Prokofiev, War and Peace (with an extensive list of performers).
20 April 1967, University of Leeds, Great Hall: Schumann, Frauenliebe und Leben and Janacek, Diary of a Young Man who Disappeared, given by Ljuba Baricova and Ivo Zidek (vocal) and Jan Hus Tichy (piano), with female chorus.
21 April 1967: Princess Mary Memorial Concert, with Elizabeth Vaughan, Janet Baker, Alexander Young and Robert El Hage (vocal).
22 April 1967: Luisa Bosabalian, Janet Baker, Nicolai Gedda and Robert El Hage (vocal), Hugh Bean (violin) and Simon Preston (harpsichord).

Essays: Sir Roger Stevens, ‘An Arts Centre for Leeds’.

- 16-25 April 1970
18 April 1970, Temple Newsam House: Fleming String Trio (Emanuel Hurwitz, Kenneth Essex and Amaryllis Fleming), with Derek Wickens (oboe).
19 April 1970, Parish Church: service music, including the first performance of Bernard Stevens, Hymn to Light, with Leeds Parish Church Choir, Leeds Music Centre Brass Ensemble, and Donald Hunt and Anthony Langford (organ). Accompanying this programme is a note of the music to be used during the services at the Parish Church for the remainder of Festival week.
21 April 1970, Parish Church: Leeds Parish Church Choir, directed by Donald Hunt with Melville Cook (solo organ).
25 April 1970, Temple Newsam House: Fleming String Trio (as above).

The performances on 16-18 and 20 April featured the English Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Charles Mackerras (16/17 April) and Raymond Leppard (18/20 April). Those on 22, 24 and 25 April were given by the New Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Meredith Davies (22 April) and Carlo Maria Giulini (24/ 25 April).
16 and 17 April 1970: Handel, Israel in Egypt, with Heather Harper, Patricia Clark, Paul Esswood, Alexander Young, Michael Rippon and Christopher Keyte (vocal), Roger Bullivant (harpsichord) and Donald Hunt (organ).
18 April 1970: including the first British performance of Cavalli, Magnificat and Handel, Lucrenzia (first performance in this instrumentation), given by Janet Baker, Gerald English and John-Shirley-Quirk (vocal) and Leeds Parish Church Choir.
19 April 1970: Piano Recital, Radu Lupu.
20 April 1970: including the first British performance of J.C. Bach, Dies Irae, with April Cantelo, Alfreda Hodgson, Gerald English and Christopher Keyte (vocal), and Donald Hunt (additional conductor).
21 April 1970, Leeds Grammar School: Stockhausen, complete piano words, played by Aloys Kontarsky.
22 April 1970: including David Blake, Lumina (Festival commission), with Margaret Price and John Shirley-Quirk (vocal) and Annie Fischer (piano).
23 April 1970: Recital, Janet Baker (mezzo) and Raymond Leppard (piano).
24 April 1970: Radu Lupu (piano).
25 April 1970: Beethoven, Missa Solemnis, with Heather Harper, Yvonne Minton, Stuart Burrows and Robert El Hage (vocal).

Essays: Rt. Hon. Sir Edward Boyle (‘The Place of the Arts in all Our Lives’) and Lord Feversham (‘The Yorkshire Arts Association’).

Volume 3: 1972, 1974
- 20-27 May 1972
20 May 1972, Leeds Grammar School: chamber concert with Gerald English (tenor), Barry Tuckwell (horn) and Margaret Kitchin (piano).
21 May 1972, Parish Church: service music, given by Leeds Parish Church Choir, with Anthony Langford (organ), directed by Donald Hunt. Accompanying this programme is a note of the music to be used at the Parish Church during the remainder of Festival week.
24 May 1972, Parish Church: Leeds Parish Church Choir, with George Guest (organ), directed by Donald Hunt.
27 May 1972, Temple Newsam House: Dimov String Quartet (Dimo Dimov, Alexander Tomov, Dimiter Tchilikov and Dimiter Kozev).

The concerts on 20, 21 and 23 May featured the English Chamber Orchestra whilst those on 24, 26 and 27 May were given by the New Philharmonia Orchestra.
20 and 21 May 1972: Handel, Saul, given by Sheila Armstrong and Margaret Price (soprano), James Bowman (counter-tenor), Ryland Davies, Gerald English and John Winfield (tenor), Donald McIntyre and Stafford Dean (bass), Roger Bullivant (harpsichord) and Donald Hut (organ), conducted by Charles Mackerras.
22 May 1972, Leeds Grammar School: Piano recital, Alfons and Aloys Kontarsky.
23 May 1972: Mozart, Symphony in G minor and Requiem, Margaret Price, Helen Watts, Gerald English and Stafford Dean (vocal), conducted by Karl Richter.
24 May 1972: Yehudi Menuhni (violin), conducted by Okko Kamu.
25 May 1972: Piano recital, Alfred Brendel.
26 May 1972: Clifford Curzon (piano) and Günther Reich (vocal), with the Festival Chorus, conducted by Charles Groves.
27 May 1972: Donald McIntyre (vocal), conducted by Charles Groves and Donald Hunt.

- 1974
Only two day-time performances were held during this year, on 12 and 14 April. Both took place in the Parish Church and featured the Parish Church Choir, with Alan Bourne (solo flute, 12 April) and Anthony Langford (organ, 14 April), directed by Donald Hunt.

The concerts on 13 and 14 April 1974 were given by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Pierre Boulez. Those on 17, 19 and 20 April 1974 featured the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Sir Charles Groves.
11 April 1974, Parish Church: J.S. Bach, St. John Passion with Gerald English, John Noble, Felicity Palmer, Alfreda Hodgson, Ian Partridge and Christopher Keyte (vocal), Anthony Langford (organ) and Roger Bullivant (harpsichord) and the Yorkshire Sinfonia, conducted by Donald Hunt.
13 April 1974: Berlioz, Grande Messe des Morts, op.5, with Alexander Young (tenor).
14 April 1974: Wendy Fine (soprano).
16 April 1974: Piano Recital, Craig Sheppard.
17 April 1974: Jill Gomez, Anne Collins and Gerald English (vocal).
18 April 1974: Grimethorpe Colliery Band, with Stan Priestly (trombone) and Ken MacDonald (trumpet), conducted by Elgar Howarth.
19 April 1974: Jane Manning, Robert Tear and Norman Welsby (vocal).
20 April 1974: Elgar, The Dream of Gerontius, Katherine Pring, Richard Lewis and Norman Bailey (vocal).

Essay: 'Leeds Festival 1958-1974: a personal view, by the Earl of Harewood'.

Volume 4: 1976
- 9-23 October 1976
10 October 1976, Parish Church: Festival Service, including Anthony Milner, Festival Anthem (commissioned by the Festival), performed by the Parish Chuch Choir, with Simon Lindley (organist and master of the music) and Tom Corfield (sub-organist).

The concerts on 17 October and from 19 October onwards were all given at the Grand Theatre, Leeds.
9 October 1976: Mendelssohn, Elijah, given by Jennifer Smith, Alfreda Hodgson, Philip Langridge, Brian Rayner Cook and Simon Ravens (vocal), with the BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra, Cardiff Polyphonic Choir and Leeds Festival Chorus, conducted by John Alldis.
10 October 1976: Norbert Brainin (violin), Peter Schidlof (viola), Honor Sheppard (soprano), Paul Esswood (alto) and Christopher Underwood (bass), with the Leeds Festival Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by Norman Del Mar.
11 October 1976: Amadeus String Quartet (Norbert Brainin, Siegmund Nissle, Peter Schidlof and Martin Lovett) with Gervase de Peyer (clarinet).
12 October 1976, Clothworkers’ Centenary Concert Hall, University: Philip Wilby, Gilgamesh the King, an opera for children (first performance), given by the Leeds Youth Opera Group with Marc Ruhlmann (tenor) and members of the Aulos Ensemble, conducted by Michael Grady.
13 October 1976, Parish Church: Leeds Parish Church Choir and Leeds Festival Orchestra with John Birch (solo organ) and Tom Corfield (continuo organ), directed by Simon Lindley.
15 October 1976, Harewood House: Janet Price (soprano), Ann Murray (alto), Philip Langridge (tenor) and Brian Rayner Cook (bass) with Peter Pettinger (piano).
16 October 1976: American Bicentenary Concert with Gervase de Peyer (clarinet), the BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra and Leeds Festival Chorus, conducted by Aaron Copland.
17 October 1976: Piano recital, Charles Rosen.
18 October 1976, University of Leeds, Great Hall: including Nicholas Sackman, Ellipsis (commissioned by Leeds Musical Festival), with Peter Hill (piano), Erich Gruenberg (violin), and the Leeds Festival Orchestra, conducted by Lionel Friend.
19 October 1976: International Jazz Concert/Big Band Jazz, starring Thad Jones (trumpet) with the Tony Faulkner Jazz Orchestra and Stan Sultzman (saxophone), Dave Markee (bass), George Chisholm and Dick Hawden (trumpet) and Bryan Layton (piano).
20 October 1976: Allan Schiller, David Wilde, Peter Hill and Wendy Nightingale (pianos), James Holland and Janos Keszei (percussion), Vivien Townley (soprano), Sarah Walker (alto), Gregory Dempsey (tenor) and Paul Hudson (bass) with the London Percussion Ensemble and the Leeds Festival Chorus, conducted by Gary Bertini.
21 October 1976: Miriam Fried (violin), with the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Klaus Tennstedt.
22 October 1976: Piano recital, Dmitri Alexeev.
23 October 1976: Berlioz, L’Enfance du Christ, with Robert Tear, Josephine Veasey, Thomas Allen, Joseph Rouleau, Brian Cookson and Christopher Underwood (vocal), the London Symphony Orchestra and Leeds Festival Chorus, conducted by Colin Davis.

Essay: Introduction by the Artistic Director, Alexander Goehr.
Date range of collection
1953 - 1976
Accumulation Dates
Suggested Audience
Not Specific
Associated People or Organisations

Location Details

British Library
The British Library St Pancras ,96 Euston Road London NW1 2DB
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Cardif University (Prifysgol Caerdydd)Royal College of Music LondonMuseums, Libraries and Archives Council