Odds and quads

These items - now owned by the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in Greenwich - are all linked to the crazily ambitious French composer and conductor Louis Antoine Jullien (1812-60).

June 21, 2012

After arriving in London in 1840, he soon began to dominate the concert scene with performances notable for their vast orchestras, bold programmes and constant recourse to dance music, much of it - such as the Excelsior Valse - written by the Frenchman himself.

He also set up on Regent Street "Jullien's Royal Conservatory of Music", combining a publishing house, a music school and a circulating library (one of the few to have survived from this period), which implausibly claimed to be "the most complete and extensive collection of Musical Works ever classed together for Library Circulation".

After Jullien's bankruptcy and death, 250 volumes were sold to the Trinity College of Music in 1878.

Since the college itself had opened only six years earlier, these form one of the cornerstones of its historic Jerwood Library.

The institution would eventually join forces with the Laban Dance Centre in 2005 to form Trinity Laban.

Send suggestions for this series on the treasures, oddities and curiosities owned by universities across the world to matthew.reisz @tsleducation.com

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