This site will feature new, short articles on aspects relating to the English composer, John Ireland (1879-1962). The theme is music, people, places. Sometimes the features will be very brief, at other times more probing. Pieces will be discussed and sometimes heard, the lives of friends and colleagues will be explored, and the places Ireland knew and loved will be seen. Fiona Richards

Ireland in his London studio

Ireland in his London studio

27 comments on “About

  1. John France says:

    Very informative and well presented – look forward to reading lots more here…
    John F

  2. JE says:

    Very interesting to have come across this site. I’m currently delving into the Slindon surroundings at http://slindonsculpture.wordpress.com – I wonder if he had connections with Belloc who died in ’53 (particularly if he also had links to Shipley)…?
    Nice to see the Konstam bust.

    • JE says:

      p.s. Surprised you don’t have a ‘follow this blog by email’ widget on here somewhere… or is it hidden somewhere?

    • FR says:

      Yes, he had links to Shipley: he’s buried in the churchyard. Thanks for the interesting comment. I’m sure the blog is followable as others are doing so. I’ll see if I can find the link.

  3. Paul Vincent says:

    Delighted to see references to my grandfather, Thomas Dunhill. I am transcribing his diaries and am selecting extracts for possible future publication. Of course there are many references to Ireland, who was really Dunhill’s closest musical colleague. They joined the RCM in 1893 within a week of each other, I believe. Four years later they both received the RCM’s open scholarship – enabling them to continue under Stanford for three more years.

    • FR says:

      The diary entries I’ve seen are fascinating-and there are lots of references to Ireland. How interesting to hear from Dunhill’s grandson.

      • Paul Vincent says:

        I am very fond of the entries in Dunhill’s diary, re hearing Schonberg’s new music . . .

        January 1914

        17 Queen’s Hall symphony concert, to hear Schonberg conduct his 5 Orchestral Pieces, Op. 16. His first appearance. Of course I could make nothing coherent of this extraordinary stuff – it is like going back to primitive noise! The music of the past, I think – a real representation of chaos!

        29 Met Jack at Sloane Square. To his flat: a long talk on many subjects. We played the new Schonberg pieces, & laughed over them – I cannot somehow, believe that there is anything real in them, with all the will in the world! And I hate being a conservative!

  4. Peter Young says:

    I have recently put together an article featuring correspondence relating to the ultimately unsuccessful campaign led by John Longmire to secure a national honour for John Ireland.
    Might such a thing be suitable for publication here?

    • FR says:

      By all means send it to me, if it’s not too long for an online screen. Alternatively it could become an attachment. Fiona

      • Peter Young says:

        I suspect my article may be too long for an online screen. Please could you give me an email address to which to send it as an attachment? Many thanks. Peter

  5. HampshireCelloMan says:

    A lovely and often intriguing blog – beautiful pictures too. A cellist friend has become interested in Helen Perkin and asks me if her Cello Sonata was ever printed. Would you know how one might go about finding it?

  6. Anne Bucetti says:

    As a descendant of Ireland’s Uncle Mark Nicholson I find this site really interesting. Thank you so much. Anne

    • Anne Bucetti says:

      PS. Correction. I meant Ireland’s Great Uncle Mark! Anne

    • FR says:

      Thanks, and I hope to find out more.

    • John Wilson says:

      Hello Anne, I’m also a descendent of Mark Nicholson. His grand-daughter, Ann E Higgins was mother to my grandfather Henry Elcock Wilson. A large oil portrait of Mark Nicholson, in which he looks aged about 50, hangs in my mother’s house in Hampshire.

  7. Paul Vincent says:

    This appears in my grandfather Thomas Dunhill’s diary for 27th Feb 1897. Both Dunhill’s and Ireland’s future career confirmed here (?) – as the RCM awards the two students the Open Scholarship for Composition. They had both been at the College already since 1893.

    “The most exciting day I ever went through. Practice & up to College. The Results made known in the Concert Hall at about 2. Composition – J N Ireland. + T F Dunhill. Perfectly mad with excitement & joy. Wired home.”

    • FR says:

      What a lovely diary entry. I’m going to move it into the blog pages as it’s so delightful. Thank you.

  8. Paul Vincent says:

    This from Thomas Dunhill’s diary for 20th February 1941. Disrupted by the war, by co-incidence Dunhill and Ireland both found themselves living in Banbury, and spent a good deal of time in each other’s company:

    Then I went down to Banbury. Called to see Jack Ireland & chatted with him, & arranged to meet him at the Regal Cinema in the afternoon. Then I had lunch at Brown’s – made some purchases & went to the Cinema. Presently J.I. came along & we had two good seats in the circle for the new Charlie Chaplin film “The Great Dictator”. I enjoyed it very much, & so did he. It was a long film – very amusing – & I was surprised how excellent Chaplin was (especially in the speaking). The incidents were not uniformly amusing – but some of it was superb – especially the shaving by the little barber to the performance of a Brahms Hungarian Dance – superbly done!!

  9. FR says:

    Thanks for this – moved to the main blog as it’s so interesting.

  10. Paul Vincent says:

    Recently came across a letter from Ireland to Dunhill, dated 23rd July 1913. They were both at Drury Lane to hear Stravinsky’s “Sacre”. Ireland’s letter includes:

    Dear T.F.D.
    It was nice to catch a glimpse of you to-night – & I hope that at any rate you and I, out of the old band, may still keep somewhat in touch with each other – for ours has been a genuine friendship, & I should feel one of my few moorings gone if that were lost or impaired.
    As for the singular & terrible work of Stravinsky we heard to-night, I must say I have a respect for a man who can deal with such extreme dissonance in a way which produces an impression & holds one’s attention. And as the whole thing is expressive of superstitious mystery in the mind of prehistoric man, I do not see that he could have used more accepted means. I did not analyse the sound at all, or compare it with my own conception of music as I think it should be – I merely took what impression the sound gave me in conjunction with the stage action, & I must confess it stirred deep-seated feelings in me which have never been touched at all before – & I hope may not again in a hurry. As far as I was concerned, the thing seemed to plunge me deep into some dim & remote recesses of consciousness, which I can only compare with sensations I had as a very young child, now only very vaguely & dimly remembered, but then very real & overwhelming.

    Do let me know if you’d like to see the whole text!

  11. I would be most grateful if you could send me details of the John Ireland Trust, together with a membership form.

    Thank you very much.

    Kind Regards

    Yours faithfully

    Victor Timmons
    27 Alexander Court
    Highbridge Quay

  12. Dennis says:

    What a great photo of St Luke’s choir! You’ll be pleased to know we’re still in business, and still perform some of the music he wrote for us. Out of curiosity, where did the photo come from? It would be nice to locate a copy that we could hang in the vestry.

    • FR says:

      I’ll try to get a copy for you. It’s in the University of Cambridge main library, but I may be able to make a copy from one I have somewhere. I am gradually trying to uncover something, however small, about everyone in the photo.

  13. Karen says:


    I discovered your blog a couple of years ago whilst researching our family tree. John Ireland was my Great Uncle and his nephew, Anthony Ireland, was my Grandfather. Both of Anthony Ireland’s children are alive and I think you may find it helpful to have some information from them, as there a couple of things written about him which aren’t actually correct. They would be able to provide you with some more information too. It’s not the end of the world, but you’ve carried out such extensive research and at least he does still have some living relatives available to communicate with.

    It would be lovely to hear back from you.

    Many thanks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s