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MANNS, Sir August (1825-1907)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 1249 Box 174, MS 6925, MS 6927, MS 6928
Held at: Royal College of Music
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Full title: MANNS, Sir August (1825-1907)
Date(s): 1862-1973 (predominantly 1870-1900)
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 1 volume (72pp, c200 items), 1 file
Name of creator(s): Manns | Sir | August | 1825-1907 | conductor
Bönten | Augusta | 1858-1930 | daughter of Sir August Manns, composer


Administrative/Biographical history:

Sir August Manns, born Stolzenberg, 12 March 1825; played in the Danzig regimental band and theatre orchestra as a clarinettist at age 20; member of Gungl's orchestra in Berlin, 1848; served eight years in the Prussian army and arranged classical repertoire for military band and conducted concerts; appointed Assistant Conductor at Crystal Palace, London, 1854; appointed by the Secretary, George Grove, as Conductor at the Crystal Palace, 14 Oct 1855; between 1855-1901 Grove and Manns made the Saturday concerts at the Crystal Palace the principal source of classical music at popular prices; Manns transformed the existing wind band into a renowned orchestra, and was estimated to have conducted 12,000 orchestral concerts during his 42 years at the Crystal Palace; the programmes included Schubert and Schumann symphonies, works by Berlioz and Wagner, many previously seldom-performed works and first London performances; conductor of the Handel Festival, 1883-1900; naturalized as a British citizen, 1894; knighted, 1903; died, Norwood, London, 1 March 1907.


Scope and content/abstract:

Autograph letter book of Sir August Manns, containing c200 items of correspondence received 1862-1973 (predominantly 1870-1900), comprising short letters addressed to Manns (and a few to his daughter Augusta) from c100 correspondents, mainly eminent composers and musicians of the late 19th century, on musical or personal matters. Some later items appear to have been added by his daughter Augusta Bönten and grand-daughter Louise Bönten. The correspondents include: Johann Joseph Abert, Luigi Arditi, Waldemar Barziel, William Henry Bell, Sir Julius Benedict, Sir William Sterndale Bennett, Johannes Brahms, Max Bruch, Ignaz Brull, Cecile Chaminade, Sir William Cusins, Antonin Dvorák, Sir Edward Elgar, Robert Franz, Niels Gade, Friedrich Gernsheim, Charles-Francois Gounod, Edvard Grieg, Sir George Grove, Frederick Gye, Sir Charles Hallé, John Liptrot Hatton, Ferdinand Hiller, Sir Henry Irving, Charles Lamoureux, Franz Liszt, Hamish MacCunn, Sir George Alexander Macfarren, Walter Macfarren, Sir Alexander Campbell Mackenzie, Jules Massenet, Giacomo Meyerbeer, Sir Herbert Oakeley, Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, Ebenezer Prout, Joachim Raff, Anton Rubinstein, Camille Saint-Saens, Sir Charles Santley, Pablo de Sarasate, Xaver Scharwenka, Clara Schumann, Giovanni Sgambati, John Stainer, Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, Julius Stockhausen, Richard Strauss, Sir Arthur Sullivan, Ambroise Thomas, Arthur Goring Thomas, Giuseppe Verdi, Henri Vieuxtemps, Thomas Wingham. 'The Four Ps', a memorandum for young people, manuscript of Manns, 1902; 'Wiegenlied' manuscript of tune by Manns, undated; order of memorial service for Manns, 6 Mar 1907 (MS 6925). Letters (17) to Manns, c1882-c1897: correspondents include Luigi Arditi, Eugene D'Albert, John Carrodus, Robert Hausmann, Sir A C Mackenzie, Alfredo Piatti, Giovanni Sgambati, Anstruther Stirling, Paul Viardot, August Wilhelmi, (MS 6927). Two letters (1895 and undated) to Manns from Andrew Black (1859-1920) and Sir George Henschel (1850-1934) (Ref: MS 6928).

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
Mainly English, with some French, German and Italian.

System of arrangement:

The letters are arranged in a number of alphabetical series based on surname of correspondent mainly as follows: composers, some pianists; concert organisers; pianists; string players; singers; miscellaneous and signed programmes/portraits. comprises the order of memorial service for Manns, his 'Four Ps' and his 'Wiegenlied'.

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 catalogued in the 'Provisional catalogue of letters in the RCM library' by J Kersey, 1997, vol 1.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

MS 6928 was bought by the RCM from Dan Fog, Copenhagen, 1985.

Allied Materials

Related material:

The Royal College of Music holds papers of Manns' daughter, Augusta Bönten, mostly relating to Manns' life and career (Ref: Bönten).

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Robert Baxter as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project. Sources: Article on Manns by Keith Horner, Grove Dictionary of Music; Dictionary of National Biography.

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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