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HomeSearchGetRecordEnglish Provinces: Birmingham: Town Hall (1849-1997)

Collection Description

Collection Title
English Provinces: Birmingham: Town Hall (1849-1997)
A collection of eight boxes of programmes and prospectuses from Birmingham Town Hall, from 1849 to 1997. Birmingham Town Hall was built in 1834. The collection contains a significant number of programmes from the 1940s onwards, especially from the 1980s. However, the amount of programmes wanes significantly in the 1990s. The collection includes press cuttings.

There are 17 nineteenth-century programmes in the collection. The first programme in the collection is from a performance of Elijah given on 8 February 1849. The performance featured Jenny Lind as soloist. Other vocal soloists were as follows: Miss A Williams, Miss M Williams, Mr Lockey, Mr Perring, Mr Gough, Mr Mackain and Mr Machin. The performance was conducted by M. Benedict. The leader was Mr. C.A. Seymour and the organist was Mr. Stimpson.

The next programme in the collection is from 1885. The collection includes a number of programmes from the Birmingham Musical Festival (also entitled the Birmingham Triennial Musical Festival). There are individual programmes from the following years of nineteenth-century festivals: 1885 (1); 1888 (8); 1891 (2); 1894 (2); 1897 (2). In addition, there is a programme from a concert "Messrs. Harrisons' Concert" given in 1894.

The rest of the collection dates from the twentieth century. Early twentieth century programmes include items from the Birmingham Musical Festival, Birmingham Festival Choral Society, Harrison Concerts and Halford Concerts Society. There are only a relatively small number of programmes from the 1920s and 1930s. These include a number of programmes from oratorios. In addition there are programmes from choral concerts (largely from the Birmingham Festival Choral Society), orchestral concerts (largely from the City of Birmingham Orchestra) and a small number from solo recitals. There is also a programme from the reopening of the town hall on 12 April 1927.

From 1945 onwards, the majority of programmes in the collection are from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) – previously the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the name changed in 1948. The collection also houses a number of prospectuses and multiple-concert programmes – programmes which give details and programme notes for one section of the season – from the CBSO. There are other programmes from groups including the Birmingham Philharmonic Orchestra and the City of Birmingham Choir (occasionally accompanied by the CBSO). A small number of visiting foreign orchestras are also represented in the collection. In addition, there are a few programmes from recitals, including organ recitals and a series of lunchtime recitals. There are also a number of programmes from solo recitals given as part of the series "H. Samuel International Concerts" from the 1970s.

The collection includes programmes from CBSO Proms as well as programmes from the Birmingham Festival of Entertainments (1960s).

The material is arranged chronologically. Undated items are filed at the end of the collection.
Date range of collection
1849 - 1997
Accumulation Dates
Suggested Audience
Not Specific
This collection is about

Location Details

Royal College Of Music, Library
London SW7 2BS
Open Map
020 7591 4723
Visiting Information
Mon-Fri by appointment
Building Information
The CPH collections now form part of the RCM Library. The majority of the concert programme collections are stored off-site so you need to request items before arriving. Requests for programmes are processed on Thursday for delivery to the library the following week. The Library itself is open Monday to Friday during term times and Tuesday to Friday during vacations. We can advise you about our hours when you contact us.
Display Overview
NEW CONTACT DETAILS: 020 7591 4723; [email protected]
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