(Photograph) - SHEFFIELD University has bought the music library of British conductor and impresario Sir Thomas Beecham. The collection, acquired by private sale from Sir Thomas's widow, includes valuable orchestral scores marked up in trademark blue pencil.
There is also autograph manuscript material including his original manuscripts and editings of Handel, Mozart and Gretry. Some rare first editions of the work of 20th-century composers, plus 400,000 press cuttings, tell the story of Sir Thomas's life and times.
University librarian Michael Hannon, pictured with Handel's Messiah, said the collection could easily have gone to the United States. "We regard this as a great coup for the university and the city of Sheffield. These scores will be invaluable to scholars, offering a unique insight into Sir Thomas's fine performances."
The Sir Thomas Beecham Trust has awarded scholarships to students at Sheffield since 1992 and Sir Thomas himself gave many orchestral performances in the City Hall.