File ABW/2/13 - Correspondence from Sir Adrian Boult

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GB GB1179 ABW-ABW/2-ABW/2/13


Correspondence from Sir Adrian Boult


  • 30 Aug 1960 - 26 May 1983 (Creation)

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1 file

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Sir Adrian Cedric Boult (8 April 1889 – 22 February 1983) was an English conductor. Brought up in a prosperous mercantile family, he followed musical studies in England, at Christ Church College in Oxford, and at Leipzig, Germany, with early conducting work in London for the Royal Opera House and then Sergei Diaghilev's ballet company. He was declared medically unfit to serve in the First World War, and so worked as a translator instead while conducting in his spare time. His first prominent post was conductor of the City of Birmingham Orchestra in 1924. When the BBC appointed him director of music in 1930, he established the BBC Symphony Orchestra and became its chief conductor. Forced to leave the BBC in 1950 on reaching retirement age, and having conducted 1,536 broadcasts, Boult took on the chief conductorship of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. The orchestra had declined from its peak of the 1930s, but under his guidance its fortunes were revived. He retired as its chief conductor in 1957, and later accepted the post of president. He conducted the LPO in concerts and recordings until 1978, when he gave his final performance, in what was widely called his "Indian summer". Boult was known for his championing of British music. He gave the first performance of his friend Gustav Holst's The Planets, and introduced new works by, among others, Elgar, Bliss, Britten, Delius, Rootham, Tippett,  Vaughan Williams and Walton. From the mid-1960s until his retirement after his last sessions in 1978 he recorded extensively for EMI, and he influenced prominent conductors of later generations, including Colin Davis and Vernon Handley. Boult formally retired from conducting in 1981 and died in London in 1983, aged 93.

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Correspondence received from Sir Adrian Boult, including various clippings.

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