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Ballad Concerts (1867-1933)
Ballad Concerts (1867-1933)
A collection of 51 volumes of programmes from Ballad Concerts, 1867 to 1933. The programmes are from the significant series of ballad concerts, often entitled “London Ballad Concerts” or “Boosey Ballad Concerts”. The latter of these denotes the promoter of the concerts, Boosey & Co. The concerts were founded by the publisher to promote sales of their Ballad sheet music.
Most volumes in the collection contain a manuscript index, which is attached to the volume. These indexes list the items performed and corresponding page number. The programmes contain words to the items sung.
The programmes are from concerts that took place in St. James’s Hall (-1893), Queen’s Hall (1894-1907; 1927-1933) and Royal Albert Hall (1907-1927). At certain points in the collection, the programmes are from concerts that took place at regular points during the week; for instance, early programmes in the collection are from concerts given on Wednesdays.
The number of concerts per series varied; from approximately 1867 to 1903, there were frequently at least 12 concerts per season, occasionally more. The number of concerts appeared to have dropped after this time: for instance, there were eight concerts in 1912-1913, yet only four in 1928-1929. The final season represented in this collection – from the 1933 season – contained only one concert in the entire season.
The programmes are from concerts that consisted largely of vocal music. The concerts consisted chiefly of solo items; however later programmes in the collection also include choral items, and a few concert performances of opera. Solo vocal items were taken from a variety of sources, including light opera, serious opera and oratorio. Programmes often included a few instrumental items interspersed with the vocal items.
The collection includes a small amount of programmes from Morning Ballad Concerts. There are also a few miscellaneous programmes from, for instance, a Boosey’s Evening Recital in the Wigmore Hall.
The programmes are arranged chronologically.
Date range of collection
1867 - 1933
Associated People or Organisations
Details also available
Most volumes have inventory of works performed, listed alphabetically
Royal College Of Music, Centre for Performance History
220-238 Goldhawk Road London W12 9PL Open Map
Mon-Fri by appointment
Research access by appointment only.
Researchers will be provided with Collection Regulations, and will be asked to complete a Researcher Registration Form (copies are available on the CPH website)
The Portraits and Performance History Collection and its associated reading room is housed in a recently adapted space within the RCM's College Hall, its hall of residence for students.
There is step-free access for visitors.
The Centre for Performance History (CPH) is a research centre and is also responsible for the stewardship of two well-established RCM research collections, the Museum of Instruments and the Portraits and Performance History Collection (PPHC). The latter houses a diverse collection relating to the history of performance including the RCM’s internationally famous collection of images, comprising 340 original portraits and sculptures and 25,000 prints and photographs, forming the most comprehensive archive of likenesses of musicians in the UK. The collection of 600,000 concert programmes from 1720 to the present day is of major importance for research into the history of music, society and culture.
Additional Collection Information
Management Information (Type)