Reid concerts at the University of Edinburgh: the first 100 years, 1841–1941
Donaldson, Fiona McCallum
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Reid Concerts began in 1841 and were defined by Donald Francis Tovey as those concerts presented by the University of Edinburgh under the auspices of the Professors of Music, based on the guidance laid down in the will and codicil of General John Reid. Reid was a major benefactor who bequeathed funds for the establishment of the Chair of the Theory of Music at The University of Edinburgh with a condition attached to the bequest that a concert be held each year in his memory. This thesis will explore the development and evolution of the first 100 years of these concerts through the contents of the available original concert programmes and related ephemera held in the Centre for Research Collections at The University of Edinburgh—a valuable historical resource which has never been fully recorded or researched. Analysis of this resource will focus on the programming, people, personalities, places, and perspectives associated with the performances and offer insight into the choices and influences of the Professors of Music charged with the organisation and implementation of the concerts over an extended timescale from 1841 to 1941. To aid this analysis a searchable online database has been designed and developed to provide outline performance details and some background information on the contents of many of these Reid concert programmes: <http://www.reidconcerts.music.ed.ac.uk> The database is both a finding aid to these contents and a research tool providing a basis for future studies. This research will contribute to the history of the University and City of Edinburgh and the social and musical history of concerts in the University from 1841. The findings emphasise the usefulness of printed concert programmes in recording trends in concert presentation and programming and will broaden the knowledge of this use of such ephemera for academic research.