28 June 2010

This is the week that...

... Walter Carroll was born (4th July 1869).

Walter Carroll's birth certificate (Ref: Add-Carroll/12)

                                    Walter Carroll, aged about 17 (Ref: Carroll/Family/2)              Walter Carroll, taken about 1900 (Ref: Carroll/Family/2)

Walter Carroll, prominent Manchester music educationalist and composer of the still popular music for children, was born 4th July 1869. The sixth child and only son of Richard (b.1829), an upholsterer, and Fanny W. (b. 1832), he worked hard to escape his humble beginnings and was the first person to gain the DMus by examination at the Victoria University of Manchester, taking further degrees at Durham University.

He held several posts at the University of Manchester and at the Royal Manchester College of Music, delivering the first lecture on the opening of the latter institution in 1893. He became the first Professor in the Art and Practice of Teaching at the RNCM, resigning in 1918 to become Manchester's first Music Adviser.

It is his music for children, however, written originally for his daughters Elsa and Ida, which is Carroll's claim to enduring fame. After Scenes at a Farm, published by Forsyth Brothers Ltd in 1912, came all the other sets over a period of forty one years. These included The Countryside (1912), Sea Idylls (1914), Forest Fantasies (1916), Water Sprites (1923), and River and Rainbow (1933). The uniqueness of Carroll's brilliant idea was to fire the child's imagination by uniting what he called the Sister Arts: by simultaneously stimulating the child visually and poetically as well as musically.

22 June 2010

Tuesday Titbit

Adolf Brodsky

AB/700 Postcard depicitng the Brodsky Quartet; Dr Adolph Brodsky, Rawdon Briggs, Simon Speelman and Carl Fuch

Adolf Brodsky, a former Principal of the Royal Manchester College of Music for 34 Years was also a noted performer. Brodsky was born in 1851 in Taganrog on the Sea of Azov, he played the violin from the age of five and was later a pupil of Hellmesberger at the Vienna Conservatoire.

Brodsky had a varied career as a teacher at the Leipzig Conservatoire between 1883-1891 and he also established the Brodsky Quartet during this period. In 1891 Brodsky became a soloist and concert master at the New York Symphony Orchestra. Brodsky was invited to teach at the Royal Manchester College of Music and lead the Halle Orchestra by Sir Charles Halle, who died shortly after Brodsky’s arrival in 1895. Brodsky was invited to become prinicpal of the Royal Manchester College of Music after the death of  Sir Charles Halle.

The above picture is a postcard depicting the Brodsky Quartet which included Adolph Brodsky, Rawdon Briggs, Simon Speelman and Carl Fuchs. The Postcard which is dated 28th December 1909, was sent to Brodsky at the Hotel National in Moscow from Simon Speelmen a fellow member of the Quartet.

21 June 2010

This is the week of...

... the 20th Anniversary of Elizabeth Harwood's death (22nd June 1990)

                                                 (Ref: EH/7/2/2)                                                                                                            (Ref: EH/7/2/1)

(Ref: EH/7/2/1)

Elizabeth Harwood was born on 27 May 1938, and studied at the Royal Manchester College of Music between 1956 and 1960. Her first opera appearance away from College was for the Buxton Opera Group in 1957 as Michaela in Passion Flower, an adaptation of Carmen.

Elizabeth married Julian A.C. Royle in 1966 and they had one son, Nicholas. The family lived at Fryerning, Ingatestone, Essex, where a plaque is dedicated to Elizabeth Harwood in the parish church following her death on June 22 1990.

In tribute, The Musical Times wrote, "Elizabeth Harwood's lovely, warm voice, with its effortless production and evenness throughout a remarkable range, was matched by her level-headed approach to the world of opera and the generous nature of her personality." Janet Baker, fellow opera singer, paid her this tribute: "Elizabeth was the most beloved of my colleagues, a beautiful person in every way. Her art lit up the stage."

The Elizabeth Harwood Memorial Award for Singers is given every year by the Royal Northern College of Music. Set up in Elizabeth’s name, the prize helps aspiring singers become established upon the stage, or continue their studies. The competition's rules require the singer to present a 15 to 20 minute programme which must include a Mozart item, Elisabeth’s particular love and speciality. Past winners, like other RNCM alumni, now appear on many operatic, concert and oratorio stages around the world.

08 June 2010

Tuesday Titbit

Alan Rawsthorne

                                                       AR/2/3 'The Pip' Journal written by Alan and Barbara Rawsthorne in April 1917

Alan Rawsthorne was born in 1905 in Haslingdon, Lancashire. A former pupil of the Royal Manchester School of Music, Rawsthorne was noted for his writing and compositions which included the chamber cantata A Canticle of Man (1952), Concerto for ten instruments, written for Cheltenham in 1961 and the Ballade written for John Ogdon and two works for youth orchestra (Overture for Farnham and Theme, Variations and Finale) in 1967.

The RNCM holds a large number of the Rawsthorne family papers. The above photograph is of a quarterly journal called ‘The Pip’ which was written by Alan and his sister Barbara in April 1917, when he was twelve years old. The journal includes poetry, prose, topical and imaginative writings. The journal demonstrates that Rawthorne had an active and imaginative mind from a young age.

07 June 2010

This is the week that...

... Hans Sitt, of the Brodsky Quartet, wrote to his friend, Anna Brodsky (7th June 1917)

Letter from Hans Sitt to Anna Brodsky (ref: AB/647)

Hans Sitt (21st September 1850 – 10 March 1922) was a German violinist, teacher, and composer. During his lifetime, he was regarded as one of the foremost teachers of violin. He held the position of Professor of Violin at the Leipzig Conservatory from 1883, and authored several important studies for that instrument, some of which are still used.

He became known to Adolph and Anna Brodsky after Brodsky’s move in 1883 to the Leipzig Conservatory, where he formed his own string quartet. The Brodsky Quartet allowed Sitt to perform alongside Brodsky, Hugo Becker and Julius Klengel.

In the letter, Hans and his wife, Else, express their disappointment in Anna Brodsky’s inability to visit them in Leipzig.

01 June 2010

Tuesday Titbit

Carline Crampton

                                              CC/3 Programme is a part of the Carline Crampton Collection  

Carline Crampton was a former violin and viola student of the Royal Manchester College of Music. She attended the college between1923 and 1929 and studied under Dr Brodsky. She left the college in 1929 after obtaining a Teaching Diploma. Crampton joined the Newent Orchestra and later became the conductor of the orchestra from 1948 until her retirement in 1992.

Carline Crampton amassed a collection of programmes from a number of local concerts, mostly of chamber music, which she had attended in the Manchester area between 1872 and 1946. The above picture is of a programme from a concert on the 16th October 1922, featuring the Flonzaley String Quartet at the Edward Isaacs Subscription/International Chamber Concerts held at Holdsworth Hall in Manchester.