Ireland to Julius Harrison

This post comes with thanks to keyboard player Harvey Davies, who is the great-nephew of the composer Julius Harrison. Harrison (1885-1963) came from Stourport and was an almost exact contemporary of Ireland, though from a very different musical background. Unlike many others of his generation he didn’t study with Stanford at the RCM, but instead pursued a route as a repetiteur and opera conductor. From 1930 to the Second World War Harrison was conductor of the Hastings Municipal Orchestra, and at its disbanding moved to Malvern to become Director of Music at Malvern College until 1942. It was during this period that Ireland wrote to him, from his temporary accommodation in Banbury. The surviving letter shown below has many interesting strands, above all Ireland’s comments on Harrison’s own music.

John Ireland to Julius Harrison


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