Scrapbook of a ‘doting mother’

Collections - Posted 19-12-2011

Hoddinott scrapbooks

Hoddinott scrapbooks

The manuscripts and papers of the composer Alun Hoddinott (1929-2008) are a treasure trove for future researchers, holding a wealth of material comprising manuscript scores, scrapbooks, concert programmes and a large body of correspondence.

The scrapbooks in particular (some 60 in total), spanning the years 1941-2007, record his life from an early age, the contents of the earliest volume, 1941-1954, having been ‘collected by a ‘doting’ mother!’ They reflect the various aspects of his work as composer, teacher, writer, adjudicator and festival director, and include reviews of performances of his works, concert programmes, radio listings, visits and tours abroad, competitions, various festivals – notably the Cardiff Festival of Music of which he was co-founder, and all this in addition to his career as lecturer and later Professor of Music at Cardiff University.

Alun and Rhiannon Hoddinott's wedding day

Alun and Rhiannon Hoddinott's wedding day

Whilst giving an overall insight into his life and work, one also notes the significant events that helped shape his life, both on a personal and professional level. For example his mother’s scrapbook records his marriage in April 1953 to Rhiannon Huws, who’d been a fellow student at Cardiff and who was to become central to every aspect of his life. Also amongst his papers are innumerable letters from fellow-musicians and friends testifying to the Hoddinotts’ generous and exceptional hospitality.

Concert programme signed by Sir John Barbirolli

Concert programme signed by Sir John Barbirolli

The same scrap-book records his first major success as a composer when, at the 1954 Cheltenham Festival, Gervase de Peyer gave the first public performance of his Concerto no. 1 for clarinet and string orchestra with the Hallé Orchestra, under Sir John Barbirolli. This gave the young composer a national profile and started the long string of commissions by leading orchestras and soloists that continued throughout his life.

The Alun Hoddinott Archive is currently being catalogued.

Barbara Davies

5 responses

I have just been enjoying an excellent CD of Hoddinott’s works for voice with Claire Booth, Nicky Spence and pianist Andrew Matthews-Owen.
A very original and important composer – I do so look forward to exploring this archive. When is it going to be available?

Jonathan Clarke

Commented January 1, 2012 / 19:59:51

    Thanks for your interest in the Alun Hoddinott archive. The archive is currently being catalogued, and the online catalogue should be available on our website in the Summer. The archive will then be made available in the reading room. I suggest you contact our enquiry service ( for further details later on in the year .

    Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru / National Library of Wales

    Commented January 3, 2012 / 10:07:20

Thank you for this information.
A leading British composer of the 20th (and 21st) Century who will be of national interest for many years to come.

Jonathan Clarke

Commented February 22, 2012 / 00:42:01




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