A notable Leeds survey of British music

In Leeds Town Hall this evening, the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra begin a Festival contribution of seven concerts devoted to British music. It is important to regard this scheme, and the idea behind it, in a proper light, and not merely as a cap-touching effort dutifully contrived for a special occasion, or as an admirable but […]

Y.S.O. concert attendances

In the Royal Festival Hall, on Saturday evening, the closing concert of London’s season of the arts was was given by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. All the music by Ireland, Haydn, Elgar, Holst and Walston bore some titular reference to the capital save one item – a Te Deum by Rubbra which, sung by the […]

Letter from Alan Bennett

Photo courtesy of Alan Warren

Sir. – Ernest Bradbury’ remarks on the poor attendances at the Y.S.O. Concerts of British music, and particularly at the concert on June 30, are indeed timely. No one who was at the concert on Saturday can deny the merits of British music – or the excellent quality of its performance – and yet there […]

Letter from Mollie Bland

Sir. – As an ordinary music-lover, I would like to reply to Mr. Ernest Bradbury’s recent criticism concerning the poor attendances at the Town Hall, Leeds. Bearing in mind that Leeds is an industrial city, I assume that the audiences consist mainly of people like myself. Of course, I love the music of Beethoven, Handel, […]

Letter from Sydney Ellis

Sir, – I quite agree with the remarks by your music critic, Mr. Ernest Bradbury, regarding the lack of appreciation for English music by the citizens of Leeds. Last Sunday I attended a church service to celebrate the Festival of Britain. The church was only five miles from Leeds. The service included a Doxology sung […]

Letter from E. L. Roberts

Sir, – When Mr. Alan Bennett refers to British music as a pill which must be coated with sugar to make it tolerable, he is convicted out of his own mouth, for surely it is only natural that medicine should not be liked in too large does. No one, as Mr. Bennett says, can deny […]

Letter from Walter Hartley

Sir, – Mr. Bennett’s letter supporting your critic’s remarks on the attendance at the Y.S.O. Concert impels me to offer the suggestion that we are not likely to secure support for contemporary English music by means of reports and comments which may be offensive to those who have yet to learn to appreciate the merits […]


THE Festival of British Music in Leeds has had a shock. It is a tragedy that audiences are so meagre. The West Riding has insulted present-day British composers and eminent artists. Without a blush, I say the programmes are the finest that have been compiled for the Festival anywhere in Britain. But what does Mr. […]

Festival Concert

Though the Festival concerts being given by the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra in Leeds Town Hall are carefully described as concerts of British music, and though that title has been given to some correspondence in “The Yorkshire Post,” it has now been assumed that the words ‘British Music” are synonymous with those other fearsome (though seldom […]

Letter from Alan Bennett

Photo courtesy of Alan Warren

Sir, – When Mr E. L. Roberts refers to large doses of British music he seems to forget that these eight concerts are but a fraction of the number of concerts throughout the year. Rarely does he have such a large and pleasing pill as this to swallow; yet he prefers his musical indigestion caused […]

Letter from G. Shaw

Sir, – In reply to your music critic’s words regarding the lack of public support for the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra’s concerts of British music, I feel he is deliberately closing his eyes to the fact that the public have given this stuff its hearing, have weighed it in the balance and found it wanting. After […]

Letter from L.R.A.M.

Sir, – I was surprised on reading Michael Colbert’s article on “Music in Yorkshire” in last Saturday’s issue, to find that the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra – in his opinion – had been let down so badly by various authorities, as well as the musical public of the North. I am afraid I cannot subscribe to […]

Letter from J M. Butterfield

Sir, – Mr. Hartley suggests that as the citizens of Leeds are “paying the piper” they have every right to “called the tune.” Surely that is a very dubious statement to make about any of the arts. It is widely acknowledged that any increase in the appreciation of music in this country has been largely […]

Letter from Harry Kirkby

Sir, – In this controversy about the Festival of British Music in Leeds, I do not think quite enough stress has been laid on the counter-attractions, which must affect an audience already limited by the programme appeal. The season of the year, holiday, ballet, opera and various other activities must affect even the staunchest lover […]