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DOLMETSCH, Rudolph Arnold (1906-1942)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 1249 MS 5972-5973
Held at: Royal College of Music
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Full title: DOLMETSCH, Rudolph Arnold (1906-1942)
Date(s): 1929-1980
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 2 boxes
Name of creator(s): Dolmetsch | Rudolph Arnold | 1906-1942 | composer, conductor and musician


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born Cambridge, Massachussetts, 8 Nov 1906, the eldest son of (Eugène) Arnold Dolmetsch (1858-1940) a pioneer in the revival of the performance of early music and the building of renaissance and baroque instruments. The family moved to France and then settled in Haslemere, Surrey, in 1914. He was an early and talented player of the harpsichord and viol, and assisted his father in arranging music for the annual festivals of early music in Haslemere. He also formed an orchestra while a teenager of local residents. In 1929 he married Millicent Wheaton, a local school teacher, and also his viola da gamba pupil. The couple gave numerous recitals and recordings of early music during the 1930s. He was the first of the family to show an interest in modern music, both as composer and conductor and broke the family tradition of early music by studying conducting at the Royal College of Music under Constant Lambert and Sir Adrian Boult. He joined the Royal Artillery as a gunner in 1940, and his career was cut short tragically when he was lost at sea on board the liner Ceramic, torpedoed on 7 Dec 1942. His works include the Symphony in D minor (1932); Sinfonietta (1933); Ground and Caprice for orchestra (1934); Concerto for Clarinet, Harp and Orchestra (1939); Concertino for Viola da Gamba and Small Orchestra (1941); Violin Concerto (1942).


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Dolmetsch, including press cuttings of reviews and programmes of concerts by Dolmetsch and the Dolmetsch family, the death of Dolmetsch in 1942, and later performances of his works with related correspondence, 1929-1980; draft of a talk on conducting; his The art of orchestral conducting (Bosworth and Co, London, 1942), with newspaper cuttings of reviews; notebooks containing catalogue of his music library, lists of works and performances of his works, compiled by Dolmetsch and his wife Millicent Dolmetsch, 1930s-1960s.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

MS 5972) notebooks of library and works; 5973) cuttings and correspondence arranged by file into annual bundles for 1929-1943, post 1943, and biographical information; art of conducting papers.

Conditions governing access:

Usual conditions of the Library of the Royal College of Music apply. See the RCM website or contact the RCM Library for details.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopying is permitted at the discretion of the Archivist for research purposes only.

Finding aids:

A detailed catalogue of all Dolmetsch papers is available in volume 3 of the Manuscripts catalogue in the library of the Royal College of Music.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Bequeathed to the Royal College of Music by his widow Millicent Dolmetsch, Nov 1988.

Allied Materials

Related material:

These papers form part of a larger deposit of Dolmetsch's compositions and arrangements at the Royal College of Music (Ref: MS 5953-5973).

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Robert Baxter as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project. Source: Grove Dictionary of Music.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Jul 2001

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