14 April 2010


Welcome to the first RNCM Archives blog. I hope that readers find the blog useful, informative and interesting... Please do let me know what you think!

This Is The Week That... Tchaikovsky wrote to Adolph Brodsky, second Principal of the Royal Manchester College of Music (15 April 1882). 
  Extract from Tchaikovsky's letter to Brodsky, Archives ref. AB/664

Tchaikovsky addresses Brodsky by his forename and patronymic, Adolph Davidovich. Tchaikovsky is delighted to have heard from Brodsky the previous evening and cannot thank Brodsky enough for his fatherly care of his concerto. Tchaikovsky worries that the unfortunate concerto which inspired Brodsky may hinder Brodsky's career. Tchaikovsky greatly values Brodsky's attitude to his music and his friendship. Tchaikovsky came to Moscow with the intention of staying for only a few days but has already been detained for 3 weeks by proof readings. He is also editing the complete works of Dmitry Stepanovich Bortnyansky for Jurgenson. These are very many, poor in subject matter and monotonous. Although he loves Moscow, he is sad since so many of his friends have disappeared or are so aged and he wants to go off to the country. Tchaikovsky has heard that Brodsky has been invited to play at the Exhibition which Tchaikovsky hopes to see and may also hear Brodsky. Dated 15 Apr [1882].

Staff view
Anna Wright, Librarian of the RNCM, has this to say about the RNCM Archives:
'The development of music education in Manchester; the story of German refugees and internees during World War I; the life of a professional singer; correspondence between composers and performers; the establishment of a conservatoire in the late 19th century; an insight into the lives of performers, composers and educators ……

All of these and much more are to be found in the RNCM Archives. It’s quite hard to single out particular items for mention but a personal favourite is the visitors’ book of the Royal Manchester College of Music with the signatures of so many famous musicians from the late 19th and early 20th centuries who passed through the doors of the College.

I am fortunate in that I can explore the archives in person; through the features on the website and this blog you also have the opportunity to discover the wide variety of items within the collection and find out more about them.'

Sample page from the RMCM Visitors' Book (ref. RMCM/C/7) featuring the signatures of composer Edvard Grieg and his wife Nina, who visited the Royal Manchester College of Music on 25 November 1897.

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