A Blog about the Wardour Castle Summer Schools 1964, 1965

More methodology

Part of the theoretical basis for deciding to undertake this research by way of the medium of a blog was to explore the potentially-collaborative, connective nature of the medium as a way of disseminating ideas about these events, of placing the scarcity of published writing about the events at the fore of the research, of positioning my lack of knowledge as a potentially positive aspect of the research, and of embedding the research within a critical discourse wherein aside from the mode of research my be naïve, misguided, progressive, or experimental, as many of its aspects as possible are available for comment. The specific forms of this medium allows easy tracking of such comments, implicit or explicit, with alerts extending to, for example, linkbacks. The extent to which the basis for choosing this medium is complicated by what I sense to be some reluctance to make overt, public criticism is becoming more apparent, and therefore it’s appropriate and useful to add this post. As much as I am curious about the events that took place at Wardour Castle I am curious as to why they have received little published attention. I am interested in the impact that the hegemonies operating within scholarly publishing, promotion in the music industry, and such have in shaping the access to materials about these events and the people who were participants. Read the rest of this entry »


Filed under: Methodology, , , ,

1965 Concert Programme

1965 Programme of Concerts submitted to the Arts Council following their support of some of the concerts in the series. More on that later. One of the aims of this research was to make accessible information of the kind present here. There are some fascinating concerts, with lots of early music alongside new works. I would love to hear the Busoni (arranging Bach), Bach (arranged Goehr), Mozart, Holloway, Gibbons, Eisler concert. Fascinating.

I haven’t included the programme notes, and no author is given for most of these. A playlist of those works here that are also available on spotify can be found here: WCSS. It’s a collaborative playlist so if you find a work that I haven’t listed you can add it. You can also delete tracks and add new ones (perhaps you don’t like my choice of performers?). The recording of Birtwistle’s Tragoedia is by the Melos Ensemble with Lawrence Foster conducting.

(ACGB/51/265; see 1)





Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: What music was performed?, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A review of the Wardour Castle Concert 1965

This review from the Times, 1965. I love the crossword-cryptic final two sentences (and that they appear with the verso of The Times Crossword Puzzle).

Wardour Castle Concert

For the past two years a week’s unique kind of summer school for composers and other interested in their problems has been held at Wardour Castle in Wiltshire. In the evenings doors are open to the general public for concerts cleverly juxtaposing old and new music, some of it brand new, such as on Friday when the Melos Ensemble introduces works which they themselves had commissioned from the school’s director, Harrison Birtwistle, and Peter Maxwell Davies. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Reviews, What music was performed?, , , , , , , , , , ,

1964 accounts

The V&A archives contain the accounts for both WCSSs.

(ACGB/51/265; see 1)

The items of expenditure are fairly unremarkable:

Catering, boarding out & gratuities. £573- :- 9
Caretaker, laundry, transport kitchen and domestic wages. 275- 19- 1
Artistes’ and orchestral fees. 432- 5- :
Heating, lighting, hire etc. 155- 8- :
Stationery, printing and advertising. 461- 1- 10
Hon. Secretary’s postages. 15- 13- 3
Hon. Treasurer’s do [H.O. Young] 12- 15- 5
Chairman’s telephone 72- 7- 10
Insurance, postage & sundries 89- 17- 3
2.088- 8- 5

However, it also gives the names of the employed tutors all of whom were offered £50 and all of whom waived their fees to balance the accounts.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: How was it funded?, Who was there?, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

of tags and categories…

As a writer inexperienced in writing for a blog, I have been faced with some of the medium-specific challenges.

The software in which this post is written makes authoring metadata a central part of the writing process, which is not something that I have before considered (having for the most part avoided IAML paper on this topic). Choices about what tags and categories are most appropriate to use have raised questions about the objects of research at the moment of writing [insert IAML tag]. As my experience in working in this medium increases I am finding more and more that the questions I am formulating relate to choices about tags and categories. Both forms of metadata are necessary to enable me and other readers to navigate posts of the blog, and also to facilitate links with other blogs on wordpress.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Thoughts on categorization/tags, , , , , , , , , , ,

Advertisement for the 1965 WCSS

The following is the text from a flyer/booklet advertising the 1965 WCSS.



14th–22nd AUGUST, 1965



Musical Directors:




Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: General details of the Summer Schools, Other information, Who was there?, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Following a visit to the V&A the dates as published in the programmes/flyers are:

  • 15th to 23rd August, 1964 (ACGB/51/1265)
  • 14th to 22nd August, 1965 (ACGB/51/1265)

Filed under: General details of the Summer Schools

Advertisement for the 1964 WCSS


15TH TO 23RD AUGUST, 1964



The Wardour Summer School of Music is essentially a new venture, which will take place in the elegant Wardour Castle, built for the Arundell family in the latter half of the eighteenth century by James Paine. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: General details of the Summer Schools, Who was there?, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Funding, the SPNM and the ICA

The archived documents for the Arts Council of England’s annual report for 1965/66 includes a brief report from the SPNM accounting for its activities, which closes with the sentence:

‘In addition to these activities, a contribution of £250 was also made towards first performances of new works by young composers at the Wardour Castle Summer School of Music.’ (ACGB/51/265, ACGB/50/1310; see 1)

The Arts Council’s annual report included the following about the SPNM: Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: How was it funded?, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,