Leeds Festival (classical music)

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The Leeds Festival, officially known as the Leeds Triennial Musical Festival, was a classical music festival which took place between 1858 and 1985 in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England.

The first festival celebrated the opening of Leeds Town Hall by Queen Victoria on 7 September 1858. A second festival was held in 1874, then it was held every three years from 1880 to 1970. King George V was the festival's patron in 1922. In 1950, his daughter, The Princess Royal, sister of King George VI, was patron.[1] From the 1940s, Princess Mary attended the opening nights and many of the festival's performances with her son, George Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood, and his wife, the Countess of Harewood, née Marion Stein, a former concert pianist.[2][3] Lascelles was a noted music critic whose career included the role of artistic director of the Leeds Triennial Musical Festival (1958–74).[4]

In April 1953, members of the public were for the first time told by the festival's chairman, Sir George Martin, that they may not be permitted to attend the rehearsals of some of the performances. In 1949, Sir George, an ex-Lord Mayor of Leeds (1947), had been president of the Leeds Chamber of Commerce.[5][6] Leeds woollen manufacturer[7] and solicitor, Mr R. Noel Middleton,[8] was a member of the Executive Committee of the Festival and, in 1937, 1947 and 1950, he was chairman of the Programme Committee.[9]

The last Leeds Triennial Musical Festival was in 1985. The Leeds Festival Chorus, which was founded for the first festival, became independent in 1976, and continues to perform, broadcast and make recordings.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The King as Patron". Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer. West Yorkshire, England. 4 February 1922. Retrieved 22 September 2015 – via Genes Reunited). THE KING PATRON. His Majesty the King (George V) has consented (to) become a patron of the Leeds Musical Festival, which will take place October next. (The King's daughter) Princess Mary, (and her fiancé) Viscount Lascelles .... are also on the list of patrons, which further includes... 
  2. ^ "Several well-known Leeds musical authorities tell of the opportunities afforded them to talk things musical to her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal". Yorkshire Evening Post. West Yorkshire, England. 10 January 1949. Retrieved 20 September 2015. ...(Princess Mary) was concert-going in Leeds as recently as this week-end when (she) attended the concert. The Princess Royal is a patron of the Leeds Triennial Musical Festival. During the last series in October, 1947, she attended most... 
  3. ^ "Hoping for a Boy". Barrier Miner, Broken Hill. 6 September 1950. Retrieved 20 September 2015 – via Trove. ...the Countess plans to attend every night of the Leeds Triennial Musical Festival... 
  4. ^ Ponsonby, Robert (January 2015). "Lascelles, George Henry Hubert, seventh earl of Harewood (1923–2011)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/103948.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  5. ^ "Sir George Martin". Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer. West Yorkshire, England. 30 March 1949. Retrieved 21 September 2013. Sir George Martin – SIR GEORGE MARTIN, ex-Lord Mayor Leeds, is widely known for his public work. Yesterday, his election president Leeds Chamber of Commerce, he described himself an ordinary person who had been fortunate with his friends.... 
  6. ^ "Public may not hear rehearsals of Leeds Musical Festival". Yorkshire Evening Post. West Yorkshire, England. 25 April 1953. Retrieved 21 September 2013. ...MEMBERS of the public may not be admitted to rehearsals of Leeds Triennial Musical Festival In the Town Hall this year because of a decision by the Musicians' Union. Sir George Martin, chairman of the...(Also: 24 March 1953,"Leaving City Council means little easing off for Sir George Martin, with years of experience (10 years chairman) of Leeds Health Committee, chairman of Leeds Triennial Musical Festival, treasurer and vice-chairman the Yorkshire district...) 
  7. ^ "Funeral of Earl". Yorkshire Evening Post. West Yorkshire, England. 19 May 1948. Retrieved 25 September 2013. Mr. Richard Noel Middleton, retired woollen manufacturer (William Lupton and Co.), Park Avenue, Roundhay, said (that on) 05.45 am, on May... 
  8. ^ "Valerie Middleton - Grandmother of Prince William's Girlfriend". 23 September 2006 - The Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 27 September 2015. Kate's great-grandfather, Noel Middleton, was a solicitor, a founder of the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra.... 
  9. ^ "Obituary – Mr R. Noel Middleton (Born Dec. 25 1875, Died July 2, 1951)". Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer. West Yorkshire, England. 3 July 1951. Retrieved 21 September 2013. ...a member the Executive Committee of the Leeds Musical Festival, and for the last three (Leeds Triennial Musical) Festivals, (1937, '47 and '50, he) was chairman of the Programme Committee... 
  10. ^ "Triennial Music Festivals". Discovering Leeds – Leeds Classical Music. Leeds City Council UK. 2003. Retrieved 21 September 2013. The last Leeds Musical Festival took place in 1985 but the Festival Chorus grew in stature ... 

Sources[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • "The history of Leeds Festival Chorus". Leeds Festival Chorus. Retrieved 16 August 2016.  Pages about the history of the chorus from 1858 to today, previously published as a booklet Celebrate 2008 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Leeds Town Hall and the chorus.