A Blog about the Wardour Castle Summer Schools 1964, 1965

5/6 concerts and the Arts Council’s guarantee

Following the submission of the accounts for the 1965 series of concerts was correspondence between the Arts Council and the H.O. Young, the treasurer of the WCSS.

From Young to H. Robinson:

Dear Mr Robinson

In reply to your letter of the 6th instant. I am sorry to have caused some confusion by basing the statement on six concerts instead of the five as originally submitted in May.

In enclose two copies of the Concert programmes from which you will see that concerts were given each day with the exception of Monday, when the concert as advertised was given on Tuesday.

The sixth concert was on Saturday and described as the the ‘Participations Concrt’ [sic]. It was made up of the following items:

Bach: Double Concerto for 2 vioins in D minor. Leonard Freeman and Emanuel Hurwitz.

Bach: Cantata conducted by John Aldis and sung by participants. Solo parts by Barbara Elsy, Pauline Stevens, Geffrey Shaw and Ian Partridge.

March ‘Verdi’ from Macbeth played by Participants and conducted by Alan Hacker.

David Bedford: Dream of the Seven Lost Stars written for the Summer School and conducted by John Aldis.

The concert was well attended and included in the average attendances as stated. (V&A ACGB/51/1265)

A minute was then written from Harry Robinson to Eric Thompson:

Wardour Castle Summer School

You will remember that our grant to the S.P.N.M. included £300 for this Summer School and we understood from Wardour Castle that £150 would be devoted to five public concerts and the other half to non-public “participants” concerts.

In claiming our guarantee they have included a sixth concert which they sat was a “participants” concert (presumable the only one of its kind which was given). This would of course not be open to the public. They also say they they are using £250 of S.P.N.M. money for these concerts. Even so, there will still be a big outstanding deficit and in the circumstances there seems no point in asking the Council to vary the terms of its offer to cover six concerts instead of give. Instead I think our Finance Department would agree to assess the deficit at five-sixths of the figure shown, and still pay the full amount of our £350 guarantee.

You will see that in the printed programme just supplied on demand, the sixth concert on Saturday evening, 26th August, is not shown (but they gave the programme in the letter received today); on the other hand there are two tea-time recitals, on 17th and 21st August, not supported by us which, nevertheless, appear over the general acknowledgement of our support given at the end of the programme. All very unsatisfactory. (V&A ACGB/51/1265)

No matter 5 or 6 concerts the level of deficit is easy larger than the guarantee, and one wonders why the fuss (which goes back and forth several times). There is, however, a culture within the bureaucracy that guarantees an equitable accountability. The Arts Council does not want to be credited for support not given, which leaves open the space for others to be credited for that support.

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