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Composer and conductor
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|List of works||Compositions|
Imogen Clare Holst CBE (12 April 1907 – 9 March 1984) was an English composer, arranger, conductor and festival organiser. The only daughter of the composer Gustav Holst, she is best known for her work at Dartington Hall in the 1940s, and as the long-serving director of the Aldeburgh Festival. She was a prolific writer on music, particularly on the works of her father on which she is considered the principal authority.
Born at a time when her father was struggling for recognition, Imogen Holst showed precocious talent in composing and performance. She developed a particular enthusiasm for folk dance and folk music, and became an active member of the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS). After education at Eothen school and St Paul's Girls' School, she entered the Royal College of Music, where she developed her skills in composing and conducting and won several prizes. Unable for health reasons to follow her initial ambitions to be a pianist or a dancer, Imogen spent most of the 1930s teaching, and as a full-time organiser for the EFDSS. In the first years of the Second World war she worked as an organiser for the Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts (CEMA). In 1942 she began work at Dartington, where among other innovations she founded and developed the music course, and started an orchestra.
In the early 1950s Imogen became a musical assistant to Benjamin Britten, and also began to help with the organisation of the annual Aldeburgh music festival. She assumed the directorship of the festival in 1956, and during the following 20 years guided it to a position of pre-eminence in British musical life. In 1964 she gave up her work as Britten's assistant, to concentrate on her father's music, which had fallen into some neglect and much of which had never been catalogued. Apart from her CBE appointment she received numerous academic honours, including honorary membership of the Royal College of Music. She died at Aldeburgh, and is buried in the churchyard there.
- 1 Life
- 1.1 Childhood and education
- 1.2 Freelance
- 1.3 Dartington
- 1.4 Aldeburgh
- 1.5 Late career
- 1.6 Illness and death
- 1.7 Honours
- 2 Writings
- 3 See also
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Childhood and education
Birth and family background
Imogen Holst was born on 14 April 1907, at 31 Grena Road, Richmond, a riverside town to the west of London. Her parents were Gustav Theodore Holst, an aspiring composer then working as a music teacher, and Isobel, née Harrison. The Holst family, of mixed Swedish, German and Latvian ancestry, had been in England since 1802 and had been musicians for several generations. Gustav followed this family tradition; while studying at the Royal College of Music (RCM), he met Isobel Harrison, who sang in one of the amateur choirs that he conducted. He was immediately attracted to her, and they were married on 22 July 1901.
After leaving the Royal College of Music, while attempting to establish himself as a composer Holst worked first as an orchestral trombonist, and later as a teacher. In 1907 he held teaching posts at James Allen's Girls' School in Dulwich, and St Paul's Girls' School (SPGS) in Hammersmith, where he was director of music. He also taught evening classes at Morley College, an adult education centre in the Waterloo district of London. Shortly after Imogen's birth the family moved from Richmond to a small house by the river in nearby Barnes, which they rented from a relative. Imogen's main memories of this house were of her father working in his composing room on the top floor, which she was forbidden to visit, and of his efforts to teach her folk-songs.
Descriptions of Imogen as a small child indicate that she had blue eyes, fair hair, an oval face reminiscent of her father's, and a rather prominent nose inherited from her mother. In 1912, at the age of five, she joined the kindergarten class at the Froebel Institute, where she spent five years. Holidays were often spent at the Holsts' rented country cottage at Thaxted in Essex, where Holst began an annual Whitsun Festival in 1916.
In 1917 Imogen began boarding at Eothen, a small private school for girls in Caterham, where Jane Joseph, Holst's star pupil from SPGS, taught music. A letter home, dated 17 July 1917, tells of "compertishions, and ripping prizes, and strawberries and cream for tea". At the school, Imogen studied piano with Eleanor Shuttleworth, violin with André Mangeot (described as "topping") and theory with Jane Joseph ("ripping"). Under Joseph's tuition Imogen produced her first compositions—three instrumental pieces and some Christmas carol tunes—which she numbered as Ops 1, 2, 3 and 4. In the summer term of 1920, Imogen composed and choreographed a "Dance of the Nymphs and Shepherds", which was performed at the school under her direction on 9 July.[n 1]
Imogen left Eothen in December 1920 hoping to study under Ruby Ginner at the Ginner-Mawer School of Dance and Drama, but was rejected as probably lacking the stamina for a dancing career. While studying at home under a governess for six months, at Whitsun 1921 she took part as a dancer in a production of Purcell's semi-opera from 1690, Dioclesian, a version largely devised by Jane Joseph.
In September 1921 Imogen became a boarder at St Paul's Girls School. In July 1922 she gave a performance on the piano of a Bach Prelude and Fugue which was warmly praised by Jane Joseph: "I think everyone enjoyed the Bach from beginning to end, they all made nice contented noises at the end of it". Imogen's SPGS years were generally happy and successful. In July 1923 she won the junior Alice Lupton piano prize, but her chances of distinction as a pianist were marred when she began to develop phlebitis in her left arm.[n 2] Among other activities she became interested in folk music and dance, and in 1923 became a member of the English Folk Dance Society. In 1924–25, her final year at SPGS, Imogen founded a folk dance society in the School. At a Speech Day concert late in July 1925, in her last week at the school she played a Chopin étude and the first performance of Gustav Holst's Toccata.
Royal College of Music
Although destined like her father for the RCM, Imogen did not go there RCM immediately. She spent a year studying composition with Herbert Howells and piano with Adine O'Neill, while otherwise occupying herself with EFDS activities.
She began at the RCM in autumn 1926, studying piano with Kathleen Long, composition with George Dyson, and conducting under William H. Reed. Her aptitude as a conductor was evident in December 1926, when she led the college's "Third Orchestra" in the opening movement of Mozart's "Prague" Symphony. This and other performances on the podium led the Daily Telegraph to speculate that in time, Imogen might become the first woman to "establish a secure tenure of the conductor's platform".
In her second RCM year Imogen concentrated on composition, and produced several chamber works including a violin sonata, an oboe quintet, and a suite for woodwind. She took her first steps towards personal independence when she moved from the family home to a bedsit near Kensington Gardens. She made her first excursions abroad: in 1928 she went to Belgium with the EFDS, took an Italian holiday, and made an extended trip to Germany with a group known as "The Travelling Morrice" which promoted international understanding through music and dance. In October 1928 she won the RCM's Cobbett prize for an original chamber composition, her Phantasy String Quartet, and shortly afterwards was awarded the Morley Scholarship for the "best all-round student". The quartet was broadcast by the BBC on 20 March 1929, but the achievement was overshadowed by the news, that month, of the premature death of her early mentor Jane Joseph.
In the winter of 1929 Imogen made her first visit to Canada and the United States, as part of an EFDS party. Back home, she worked on her RCM finals composition, a suite for brass band entitled The Unfortunate Traveller. Despite some apprehension on her part, the piece passed the examiners' scrutiny and was scheduled to be played at the college's end-of-year concert in July.[n 3] Imogen was awarded her ARCM diploma, and learned also that she had been awarded an Octavia Travelling Scholarship which would enable her to study composition abroad.
European travels, 1931–32
Imogen spent much of the autumn and winter of 1930–31 travelling. A brief visit to Liège in September was followed immediately by a three-month round trip, to Scandinavia, Germany, Austria and Hungary, returning to England via Prague, Dresden, Leipzig, Berlin and Amsterdam. Her "orgy of musical experiences" included a Mozart pilgrimage in Salzburg, performances of Der Rosenkavalier and Die Entführung aus dem Serail at the Vienna State Opera, Bach in Berlin and Mahler's Seventh Symphony in Amsterdam. On 1 February 1932 she left for Italy. After a two-month tour Imogen came home with mixed views on Italian music-making. She concluded that "the Italians are a nation of singers...But music is a different language in that part of the world". Back in London, she decided that despite her experiences, "if it is music one is wanting, there is no place like London."
EFDSS and teaching, 1931–38
With her scholarship funds exhausted, Imogen needed a job, and in June 1931 took charge of music at the Citizen House arts and education centre in Bath.[n 4] She disliked the disciplines imposed by an unsympathetic and unyielding superior, and she stayed only a few months. She then worked as a freelance conductor and accompanist, before joining the staff of the EDFS early in 1932. The organisation had by now expanded to become the "English Folk Dance and Song Society" (EFDSS), and was based in new headquarters at Cecil Sharp House.[n 5] The duties, mainly teaching, were not full time, and she was able to take up part-time teaching posts at her old school, Eothen, and at Roedean School. Although she composed little original music during these years, she made many instrumental and vocal arrangements of traditional folk melodies.
Gustav Holst's health had been poor for years; in the winter of 1933–34 it deteriorated, and he died on 25 May 1934. Imogen privately determined that she would protect her father's musical legacy, and began working on a biography. Meanwhile her own music began to attract attention. Her carol arrangement "Nowell and Nowell" was performed in a 1934 Christmas concert at Chichester Cathedral, and the following year saw the premiere of her Concerto for Violin and Strings, with Elsie Avril as the soloist and Imogen conducting the London Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1936 she paid a visit to Hollywood, where she met her uncle (Gustav's brother), the actor Ernest Cossart. A highlight of this visit was a Wagner concert at the Hollywood Bowl, conducted by Otto Klemperer. Back in England, Imogen worked on recorder arrangements of music by the neglected 16th-century composer Pelham Humphrey. These were published in 1936 to an enthusiastic critical reception. Her biography of her father was published in 1938; among several tributes, the composer Edmund Rubbra praised her for producing a book that was not "clouded by sentiment ... her biography is at once intimate and objective".
War: travelling for CEMA
In 1938 Imogen decided to "cut loose" from amateur music-making and teaching, and concentrate on her own professional development. She resigned her EDFSS post, while continuing to honour existing commitments to the organisation. She had given up her work at Roedean in 1936; at Easter 1939 she resigned from Eothen. In June 1939 she began a tour of Switzerland which included the Lucerne Festival. Towards the end of August, as war became increasingly likely, she broke off the trip and returned home.
After the outbreak of war on 3 September 1939, Imogen worked for the Bloomsbury House Refugee Committee, which supported German and Austrian refugee musicians interned under emergency regulations. In January 1940 she accepted a position under a scheme organised by the Pilgrim Trust, to act as one of six "music travellers", whose brief was to boost morale by encouraging musical activities in rural communities. Imogen was assigned to cover the west of England, a huge area stretching from Oxfordshire to Cornwall. When the government set up the Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts (CEMA), responsibility for the music travellers passed to that body.[n 6]
CEMA provided little practical support; thus, according to her friend Ursula Vaughan Williams, Imogen's organisational talents "developed brilliantly". According to Isabel's account, her duties included conducting local brass bands, leading hymn-singing practice ("fourteen very old women in hats sitting round the edge of a dark, empty hideous tin hut"), and organising sing-songs for evacuee children. She arranged performances by professional groups, and what she termed "drop-in-and-sing" festivals in which anyone could join. Imogen also writes of "idyllic days" spent over cups of tea, discussing the hopes and dreams of would-be music makers. Imogen's compositional activity in these years was limited; she wrote two recorder trios–the Offley and Deddington suites, and made numerous arrangements for female voices of carols and traditional songs. By the summer of 1942 the workload and concomitant bureaucracy was such that she was exhausted, and in need of a lengthy recuperation.
In 1938, Imogen had visited Dartington Hall, a progressive school and crafts community near Totnes in Devon, which had been founded in 1925 by Leonard and Dorothy Elmhirst. In 1941–42, while travelling for CEMA in Devon and Cornwall, she was invited by the Elmhirsts to make her base at Dartington. In the summer of 1942 she was encouraged by Christopher Marin, the centre's administrator, to resign her CEMA role and work at Dartington. He had in mind a music course, "the sort of thing that your father did in the old days at Morley College", Beginning in 1943, Imogen established a one-year course, initially designed to train young women to organise amateur orchestras, and musical events in rural communities. Gradually it developed into a more general musical education for a broader student intake. Under Imogen's leadership the course quickly became the hub of a range of musical activities, including the foundation of an amateur orchestra: "Hardly any of us could play ... However bad we were, we went on". Imogen's teaching methods, heavily based on "learning by doing" and without formal examinations, at first disconcerted her students and puzzled the school inspectors, but eventually gained acceptance and respect. Rosamond Strode, a pupil at Dartington who later worked with Imogen at Aldeburgh, said of her approach: "She knew exactly how, and when, to push her victims in at the deep end, and she knew, also, that although they would flounder and splash about at first, it wouldn't be long before ...they would be swimming easily while she beamed approval from the bank".
In the conducive atmosphere of Dartington Isabel resumed serious composition, largely abandoned during the hectic CEMA years. In 1943 she completed a Seranade for flute, viola and bassoon, a Suite for String Orchestra, and a choral work, Three Psalms, all of which were performed at a Wigmore Hall concert on 14 June 1943 devoted to her work. Other compositions from the Dartington years included Theme and Variations for solo violin, String Trio No. 1 (premiered by the Dartington Hall String Trio at the National Gallery on 17 July 1944), songs from the 16th-century anthology Tottel's Miscellany, an oboe concerto, and a string quartet. In October 1943 the composer Benjamin Britten and the tenor Peter Pears gave the first of several recitals at Dartington. A mutual respect and friendship developed between Britten and Imogen, strengthened by their shared love of neglected music from the Renaissance and Baroque eras.
From 1945, while maintaining her commitment to Dartington, Imogen began to widen her musical activities. As well as editing and preparing scores for Britten, she promoted Dartington as the base for Britten's new English Opera Group, although eventually Glyndebourne was preferred. In 1947 she encouraged the refugee violinist Norbert Brainin to form his own string quartet, and was instrumental in arranging its debut at Dartington, as the "Brainin Quartet", on 13 July 1947. Six months later, renamed the Amadeus Quartet, the group appeared at the Wigmore Hall, and went on to world-wide recognition. In 1948 she began work on a companion volume to her 1938 Holst biography, a critical study of Holst's music. When this was published in 1951, most critics praised its objectivity, one critic venturing that she had been "unnecessarily harsh" in her judgements.
Rising standards of achievement at Dartington enabled Imogen to organise performances of more demanding works, such as Bach's Mass in B minor in July 1950, to honour the 300th anniversary of Bach's death. Three years in preparation, this endeavour brought a tribute from one of the audience: "I don't know, and can't imagine what the music of heaven is like. But when we all get there, please God, if any conducting is still necessary I hope your services will be required and that I will be in the chorus". By the middle of 1950 Imogen's professional focus was changing. She had attended the first two Aldeburgh Festivals in 1948 and 1949, and in 1950 accepted a commission to provide a choral work for performance at the 1951 festival. Sensing that it was time to leave Dartington, she gave a year's notice, part of which was spent on sabbatical, studying Indian music at Rabindranath Tagore's university in West Bengal. A fruit of this visit was her Ten Indian Folk Tunes for recorder. On 21 July 1951 her one-act opera, Benedick and Beatrice, was performed at Dartington, to mark her departure.
Without definite plans for her future after Dartington, Imogen toured Europe, collecting music that she would later edit for performance, including madrigals by Carlo Gesualdo which she found "very exciting". At home, although not formally employed by Britten, she worked with him on several projects, including a new performing version of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, and the preparation of the vocal and full scores for Britten's opera Billy Budd. Pears, who had seen Imogen in action during her final years at Dartington, believed she could help Britten and the Aldeburgh Festival in a more permanent way, and shortly after the 1952 festival Britten invited her to come and work with him on a paid basis. She agreed, and in September 1952 moved to lodgings in Aldeburgh.
Assistant to Britten
When Imogen joined Britten, the financial arrangement was vague; Britten paid her on a piecemeal basis rather than a regular salary, unaware that she had made over her rights to her father's estate to her mother, and had little money of her own. As a result, she lived very frugally in Aldeburgh, but her commitment to Britten overrode her own physical comfort. For the next dozen years her life was organised around the joint objectives of assisting Britten and developing the Aldeburgh Festival. Although she temporarily put her own compositional ambitions aside, she did not abandon all other activities. She promoted her father's music, wrote books, articles and programme notes,[n 7] founded the Purcell Singers, and continued to arrange choral and vocal music. Among the more ambitious of her arrangements was a version of John Blow's 17th century opera Venus and Adonis, for performance at the 1956 festival.
For the first 18 months of her association with Britten, Imogen kept a diary, which in Grogan's words forms a record of her "unconditional belief in Britten's achievement and status, and her absolute devotion to his work". The first of Britten's works to which she made a significant contribution was the opera Gloriana, scheduled to form part of the 1953 Coronation celebrations. The short timescale for the writing of the opera placed considerable pressure on the composer and his new assistant, strains that were dramatised, 60 years later, in a radio play, Imo and Ben.[n 8] Imogen's main task with Gloriana was to copy Britten's pencil sketches and prepare the vocal and piano scores which the singers needed for rehearsals by February 1953. Later she assisted him with the writing of the full orchestral score, and performed similar services with his next opera, The Turn of the Screw (1954). When Britten was under pressure during the composition of his ballet The Prince of the Pagodas (1956), Imogen accompanied him to Switzerland, to remain by his side as he completed the score.[n 9] Imogen took great pleasure in her association with Britten's children's opera Noye's Fludde (1957), for which she showed Britten how to achieve a unique raindrop effect by hitting a row of china mugs with a wooden spoon. She and Britten combined to collect and publish music for the recorder, in a series published by Boosey and Hawkes (1954–59), and jointly wrote a popular introductory book, The Story of Music (1958).
Imogen assisted Britten with all his major compositions until 1964. At that point she again revised her career objectives; conscious of time passing, she was determined to give priority to the final securing of her father's musical legacy, and to re-establish her credentials as a composer her. She relinquished her post as Britten's assistant to Rosamund Strode, although she did not leave Aldeburgh, or break with Britten, and continued her work with the Aldeburgh Festival for a further 13 years. 
In 1956, having assisted the Aldeburgh Festival since her arrival in the town, Imogen joined Britten and Pears as an one of its artistic directors, with responsibility for programmes and performers. At the 1956 festival she fulfilled a long-held ambition by arranging a performance of Gustav Holst's opera Savitri, the first of several Holst works that she introduced to the festival.[n 10] In 1957 she instituted late-night concerts devoted to early music, and in 1962 she organised a series of evening concerts of Flemish music, in which she had more recently become interested. She also devised frequent programmes devoted to church music, for performance at Aldeburgh parish church.
Since moving to Aldeburgh in 1952, Imogen had lived in a series of lodgings and rented flats. In 1962 she moved to a small contemporary bungalow built for her in Church Walk, where she was to live for the rest of her life.[n 11] In 1964, after giving up her role as Britten's assistant, Imogen began composing again, and in 1965 accepted commissions for two large-scale works: The Sun's Journey, a cantata for female voices, and the Trianon Suite, composed for the Trianon Youth Orchestra of Ipswich. In 1965 and 1966 she published two books, studies of Bach and Britten. The latter work caused ill-feelings by ignoring key figures in Britten's earlier career with whom he had subsequently fallen out, such as his former librettists Eric Crozier and Ronald Duncan.
In October 1952, at the instigation of Pears, Imogen had formed a small semi-professional choir, which adopted the name "The Purcell Singers". and from 1954 became regular performers at the Aldeburgh Festival, with progammes ranging from rarely-heard medieval music to 20th-century works. Among choir members who later achieved individual distinction were the bass-baritone John Shirley-Quirk, the tenors Robert Tear and Philip Langridge, and the founder and conductor of the Heinrich Schütz Choir, Roger Norrington. Langridge remembered with particular pleasure a performance in Orford church of Thomas Tallis's forty-part motet Spem in alium, on 2 July 1963. In December 1965 Imogen recorded a number of her father's vocal and choral works with the Purcell Singers, initially issued under the Argo label. When she gave up the conductorship of the choir in 1967, much of its musical mission, in particular its commitment to early music, was assumed by other groups, such as Norrington's Schütz Choir, and the Purcell Consort formed by the ex-Purcell Singers chorister Grayston Burgess.
On 2 June 1967 Imogen shared the podium with Britten in the concert inaugurating the Aldeburgh Festival's new home at the Snape Maltings.[n 12] From 1972 Imogen was involved with the development of educational classes at the Maltings, which began with weekend singing classes and developed into the Britten-Pears School for Advanced Musical Studies, with its own training orchestra. By this time Imogen's performances at the festival had become increasingly rare, but in 1975 she conducted a concert of Gustav Holst's brass band music, held outdoors at Framlingham Castle. A report of the event described an evening of "persistent drizzle ...until a diminutive figure in a special scarlet dress took the conductor's baton. The band was transformed, and played Holst's Suite as it has never been played before".
Britten had been in poor health since undergoing heart surgery in 1973, and on 4 December 1976 he died. Imogen was unsure that she could maintain a working relationship with Pears alone and, having reached the age of 70, decided she would retire as artistic director after the 1977 festival. She made her final festival performance when she stood in for the indisposed conductor André Previn in the first festival concert given by the Snape Maltings Training Orchestra. On retirement, she accepted the honorary title of Artistic Director Emeritus.
Gustav Holst's centenary was celebrated in 1974, when Imogen published a revised biography in Faber's "Great Composers" series, and a Thematic Catalogue of Gustav Holst's Music. The year also saw the publication of the first volume of a facsimile edition of her father's works, on which Imogen worked with the help of the composer Colin Matthews. Three more facsimile volumes followed in the years up to 1983, at which point Imogen's own failing health led to the abandonment of the project. As part of the 1974 centenary, Imogen negotiated performances of Savitri and The Wandering Scholar at Aldeburgh and Sadler's Wells, and exhibitions of Holst's life and works at Aldeburgh and the Royal Festival Hall.
Apart from her books concerned with her father's life and works, Imogen continued to write on other aspects of music. In addition to numerous articles she published a short study of the Renaissance composer William Byrd (1972), and a handbook for conductors of amateur choirs (1973). She continued to compose, usually short pieces but with occasional larger-scale orchestral works such as the Woodbridge Suite (1970) and the Deben Calendar (1977), the latter a series of twelve sketches depicting the River Deben in Suffolk at different phases of the year. Her last major composition, in 1982, was a String Quintet, which was performed in October of that year by the Endellion Quartet, augmented by the cellist Steven Isserlis.
In April 1979 Imogen was present when the Queen Mother opened the new Britten-Pears School building at Snape. The building included a new library—the Gustav Holst Library—to which Imogen had donated a large amount of material, including books which her father had used in his own teaching career. She had intended that, after 1977, her retirement from the Aldeburgh Festival would be total, but she made an exception in 1980 when she organised a special 70th birthday celebration concert for Pears.
Illness and death
Shortly after the 1977 Aldeburgh Festival, Imogen became seriously ill with what she described as "a coronary angina". Thereafter, angina was a recurrent problem, although she continued to work and fulfil engagements. By early 1984 the deterioration in her health was noticeable to her friends. She died at home, of heart failure, on 9 March 1984, and was buried in Aldeburgh churchyard five days later, in a plot next to Britten's. An obituary tribute in the magazine Early Music emphasised her long association with music in the Aldeburgh church, where she "[brought] iridescently to life facets of that tradition to which her own life had been dedicated and which she presented as a continuing source of strength and wonder". Imogen's friend Ursula Vaughan Williams wrote: "Imogen had something of the medieval scholar about her ...content with few creature comforts if there was enough music, enough work, enough books to fill her days. Indeed, she always filled her days, making twenty-four hours contain what most of us need twice that time to do".
Imogen never married, though she enjoyed a number of romantic friendships, notably with the future poet Miles Tomalin, whom she met when she was a pupil at St Pauls. The two were close until 1929, and exchanged poetry. Tomalin married in 1931; many years after the relationship ended, Imogen admitted to Britten that she would have married Tomalin.
Imogen was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Music in 1966. She was awarded several honorary doctorates: from the universities of Essex (1968), Exeter (1969), and Leeds (1983). She was given honorary membership of the Royal Academy of Music in 1970. In 1975 she was appointed a Companion of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).
Publication details refer to the book's first UK publication.
- Gustav Holst: A biography. London: Oxford University Press. 1938. OCLC 852118145. (revised edition 1969)
- The Music of Gustav Holst. London: Oxford University Press. 1951. OCLC 881989. (revised editions 1968 and 1985, the latter with Holst's Music Reconsidered added)
- The Book of the Dolmetsch Descant Recorder. London: Boosey & Hawkes. 1957. OCLC 221221906.
- The Story of Music ("The Wonderful World" series). London: Rathbone. OCLC 2182017. (co-author with Benjamin Britten)
- Heirs and Rebels: Letters Written to Each Other, and Occasional Writings on Music, by Ralph Vaughan Williams and Gustav Holst. London: Oxford University Press. 1959. OCLC 337514. (co-editor with Ursula Vaughan Williams):
- Henry Purcell, 1659–1695: Essays on his Music. London: Oxford University Press. 1959. OCLC 602569. (editor)
- Henry Purcell: the Story of his Life and Work. London: Boosey & Hawkes. 1961. OCLC 1200203.
- Tune. London: Faber & Faber. 1962. OCLC 843455729.
- An ABC of Music: a Short Practical Guide to the Basic Essentials of Rudiments, Harmony, and Form. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1963. ISBN 0-193-17103-1.
- Your Book of Music. London: Faber & Faber. 1964. OCLC 170598.
- Bach ("Great Composers" series). London: Faber & Faber. 1965. OCLC 748710834.
- Britten ("Great Composers" series). London: Faber & Faber. 1966. OCLC 243904447.
- Byrd ("Great Composers" series). London: Faber & Faber. 1972. ISBN 0-571-09813-4.
- Conducting a Choir: a Guide for Amateurs. London: Oxford University Press. 1973. ISBN 0-193-13407-1.
- Holst ("Great Composers" series). London: Faber & Faber. 1974. OCLC 0-571-09967-X. (second edition 1981)
- A Thematic Catalogue of Gustav Holst's Music. London: Faber Music, in conjunction with G & I Holst Ltd. 1974. ISBN 0-571-10004-X.
Imogen Holst also wrote numerous articles, pamphlets, essays, introductions and programme notes during the period 1935–1984.
- The "Nymphs and Shepherds" dance music was Imogen's Op. 4, originally titled The Masque of the Tempest.
- In an obituary tribute, Ursula Vaughan Williams refers to Imogen's arm condition as "inherited from her father". In fact, Gustav Holst suffered from neuritis in his right arm, an equally disabling but unrelated condition.
- In 1969, after Isobel Holst's death, Imogen found the manuscript of The Unfortunate Traveller among her mother's possessions. To her, the work symbolised what she perceived to be her failure as a composer, and she insisted that itthe manuscript be burnt.
- Citizen House had been founded in 1916 by Helen Hope, as a centre for social welfare, education and the arts. It included theatre group, the Citizen House Players, and eventually a 200-seat theatre.
- The EFDSS was formed in December 1931 when the English Folk Dance Society, for which Imogen had worked voluntarily for many years, merged with the English Folk Song Society.
- CEMA was created by a Royal Charter in 1940. In 1946 it evoloved into the Arts Council of Great Britain, under a new charter.
- Books written by Imogen Holst in this period include The Book of the Dolmetsch Descant Recorder (1957); Tune (1961); and An ABC of Music (1963).
- The play, by Mark Ravenhill, was broadcast on 30 June 2013.
- Britten dedicated the ballet jointly to Imogen and Ninette de Valois.
- In 1961 Imogen persuaded Britten to conduct Gustav Holst's tone-poem Egdon Heath, and the following year saw a performance of Ode to Death.
- The house was built on the edge of the site where it had been hoped to build a Festival Theatre. When that plan was abandoned in favour of a move to Snape Maltings, the bungalow was built anyway by the architect H.T. Cadbury-Brown, who allowed Imogen to live there rent-free.
- In 1969, just after the opening concert of that year's festival, the Maltings was destroyed by fire; it was rebuilt in time for the 1970 festival.
- Holst, p. 29
- Matthews, Colin. "Holst, Gustav(us Theodore von)". Oxford Music Online. Retrieved 21 February 2014. (subscription required)
- Warrack, John. "Holst, Gustav Theodore (1874–1934)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 22 March 2013.(subscription or UK public library membership required)
- Grogan and Strode, "Part 1: 1907–31", pp. 2–3
- Grogan and Strode, "Part I: 1907–31", pp. 2–3
- Grogan and Strode, "Part I: 1907–31", p. 6
- Gibbs, pp. 29–30
- Grogan and Strode, "Part I: 1907–31", pp. 7–8
- Grogan and Strode, "Part I: 1907–31", pp. 9–12
- Grogan and Strode, "Part I: 1907–31", p. 15
- Tinker and Strode, p. 451.
- "Ruby Ginner (1886–1978)". Oxford Index. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
- Grogan and Strode, "Part I: 1907–31", pp. 16–17
- Grogan and Strode, "Part I: 1907–31", pp. 25–26
- Holst, Gustav (April 1931). "Jane Joseph: A brief discussion of her published music". The Monthly Musical Record: pp. 97–98.
- Grogan and Strode, "Part I: 1907–31", pp. 18–20
- Grogan and Strode, "Part I: 1907–31", pp. 22–26
- Vaughan Williams, Ursula (1984). "Obituary: Imogen Holst, 1907–84". Folk Music Journal 4 (5). (subscription required)
- Grogan and Strode, "Part I: 1907–31", pp. 29–32
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