File DMJ/2/2 - Musical works of Thomas Pitfield

Identity area

Reference code

GB GB1179 DMJ-DMJ/2-DMJ/2/2

Title

Musical works of Thomas Pitfield

Date(s)

  • c1961-c1985 (Creation)

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File

Extent and medium

12 items

Context area

Name of creator

(1903-1999)

Biographical history

Thomas Baron Pitfield was born Apr 5 1903 in Bolton. He was a music teacher, composer, 'cellist, pianist, engineer, inventor, artist, calligrapher, woodworker, cabinet maker, book binder, lino print maker,writer, essayist, pacifist, conscientious objector and vegetarian. In his teen years he worked in engineering on leaving school at 14. In 1924 he entered the Royal Manchester College of Music for a year. He taught at Tettenhall College from 1935-1945, becoming composition tutor at the Royal Manchester College of Music in 1947 and latterly the Royal Northern College of Music, retiring in 1973. His numerous compositions included works for orchestra, brass band, chamber ensembles, piano solo, and choral. Pitfield published 2 volumes of autobiography: No Song, No Supper (1986) and A Song After Supper (1991), and many other works. Fuller details of his life can be found in these volumes. He married Alice Astbury, a fellow student at the RMCM, on December 26 1934, and died in 1999.

Name of creator

(c.1930-2003)

Biographical history

Dr Dennis McKay Jones (d.2003) qualified as a medical practitioner in 1954, in London. He practiced as a coroner in Saskatchewan, Canada, and was a member of the British Association for Homeopathy, and the Royal Society of Medicine. He lived at Marden Mill, Marden, Devizes. Jones was working as a physician at the Harley Street Clinic in London when he first met Thomas and his wife, Alice, Pitfield at the UK Vegetarian Society's conference in 1984. A friendship was struck, and correspondence was begun in 1984 which lasted until the death of Thomas Pitfield in 1999. Copies of letters sent by Jones were retained by Jones and form a part of this collection. It appears that the last letter which Jones sent to the Pitfield home was to Alice, shortly after the death of her husband. Throughout the fifteen year friendship, Jones collected concert programmes, exhibition leaflets, published works (both literary and musical) by Thomas Pitfield, and biographical articles on Pitfield which were published in national newspapers and magazines; many of these items are contained in this collection. Jones continued to collect items after the death of Thomas Pitfield: items include an order of service for the funeral mass, and the obituaries from various national newspapers. Thomas Pitfield (1903-1999) was a composer (as well as a poet, artist, writer and teacher); he studied for a year at the RMCM in 1924 and at the Bolton School of Art from 1930-4. He returned to the RMCM in 1947 and taught composition there until 1973. The RNCM Archive already holds a Pitfield collection, which contains Music MSS, drawings, sketches, painting, poetry & other output of the composer. It can be surmised that it is Pitfield's connection with the RNCM that Jones requested that his collection of papers relating to Pitfield be donated to there following his (Jones's) death.

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Scope and content

Includes limericks; a nativity play; a photocopy of a piano solo (annotated with Dennis Jones's name); a song for soprano voice with piano and recorder; solos for a piano accordion; a photocopy of 'Naiad' (words by Dennis Jones, set to music by Pitfield); an album of works, signed by Pitfield, to celebrate his 80th birthday; and 2 copies of a cassette tape of a recital of compositions of Pitfield. There is also a framed copy of 'Naiad'.

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Open

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