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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 19 November, 2002, 17:04 GMT
Priceless musical archive secured
Elgar's Dream of Gerontius, signed by the composer
A signed Elgar manuscript has been saved for posterity
An historic collection of music manuscripts has been saved for the nation after a public appeal by the British Library raised 1 million.

A score of Beethoven's ninth symphony with a dedication from the composer, and letters from Sir Edward Elgar, are among treasures in the Royal Philharmonic Society archive.

It will now be available to music lovers and scholars from around the world.

There had been fears that the collection could be split or leave the UK if the money was not found.


The collection is a testimony to some of the world's most fervent musical imaginations

Tony Fell
Royal Philharmonic Society
The total was finally reached when the last 150,000 was given by the Heritage Lottery Fund as the deadline approached.

The London Symphony Orchestra's principal conductor Sir Colin Davis and renowned pianist Mitsuko Uchida were among those behind the appeal, backed by radio station Classic FM.

The archive includes an autograph score of Mendelssohn's first symphony as well as correspondence with many great composers and performers.

Testimony

The Elgar items give researchers a complete overview of his thought processes with early sketches of his Violin Concerto through to the finished score.

Tony Fell, chairman of the Royal Philharmonic Society, said: "The collection is a testimony to some of the world's most fervent musical imaginations and to the work of the Royal Philharmonic Society."

The RPS will use the money raised to increase support for young composers and performers, its music education programmes and to encourage new music.

The library will exhibit many of the items from the archive in its free public galleries, including the scores of Beethoven's ninth and Mendelssohn's first symphonies.

See also:

01 Sep 02 | Entertainment
08 May 01 | Entertainment
16 Oct 02 | England
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