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LASKER, Valley (b 1885)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 1249 Valley Lasker
Held at: Royal College of Music
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Full title: LASKER, Valley (b 1885)
Date(s): 1917-1981
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 1 box
Name of creator(s): Lasker | Vally | b 1885 | musician


Administrative/Biographical history:

Valley Lasker's early life was closely connected to Gustav Holst. Born in 1885, she was educated at Morley College while Holst was director of music there, and later taught music at St Paul's Girls' School, Hammersmith, as assistant to Holst, who was also head of music. She arranged several works by Holst and Ralph Vaughan Williams for piano and was a regular participant in the Whitsun festival established at Thaxted, Essex, by Holst in 1916 for both amateur and professional musicians. She was also a singer in the Whitsuntide Singers, giving concerts for Holst's festivals at Thaxted, Dulwich, Canterbury, Chichester and Bosham. She directed the singers in 1933, as Holst was ill and conducted the choir at the interment of Holst's ashes in Chichester Cathedral in 1934. Following Holst's death, she directed the group, renamed the Holiday Singers, mainly singing at Chichester and Boxgrove, 1937-1957. She retired from the choir in 1958.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Valley Lasker, 1917-1981, mainly comprising correspondence and papers relating to the works of Gustav Holst, including note from Holst to Lasker on arrangement of his 'At the Boar's Head' for piano, 1924; letter from Holst, recommending Lasker as teacher of music, 1929; postcard from Adrian Cedric Boult [1922]; undated letter from John Masefield, replying to telegram from Bishop of Chichester; manuscript and typescript of talk by Lasker on Holst's 'The Planets' for the BBC Third Programme, 1951; correspondence relating to the Whitsun festivals established by Holst at Thaxted in 'Gustav Holst' by Revd Jack |Putterill, Making Music, 1975; Chrissemas Day in the morning, piano solo by Holst (H165), autographed by Holst, 1927; correspondence relating to performance of the Holiday Singers for Lasker's 80th birthday, 1965; programmes of concerts featuring Lasker, including student concerts at Morley College, directed by Holst, 1917-1922, Society of Women Musicians, 1934, and Mrs F G Joseph's Orchestra, conducted by Lasker, 1930-1937, prizegiving at St Paul's Girls' School, 1932, tribute concert to Holst, 1951, with a few related reviews; correspondence on personal and musical matters to Lasker from Grace Hoskyns, 1929-1931;printed choral music, including works by Holst, most with signature of Holst.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

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:

The collection is uncatalogued.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Mostly deposited by Mr E A Keane Ridley (a singer in the Whitsuntide Singers), in 1980, with further deposits in 1981, 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1987.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Royal College of Music holds manuscript and printed music by Holst (with much arranged for piano by Lasker), given by Lasker (Ref: MS 4540-4569 and 4573). This includes programmes, articles and cuttings on Holst and his music, together with Lasker's transcript of Holst's catalogue of his works (ref: MS 4555), and two letters of greeting from Holst, including one to the Whitsuntide Singers, 1933 (Ref: MS 4569).

The Royal Academy of Music holds Holst's autograph manuscript of two piano arrangement of 'Mercury' (deposited there by Miss Lasker, ref RAM MS 303). Further material, mostly relating to Miss Lasker's teaching career, was passed to St Paul's Girls' School, London, in 1987.

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.

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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