2018: That was the year that was…

A very Happy New Year to all MusiCB3 readers.

Over the course of 2018 the MusiCB3 team has written 49 posts on items musical ranging from Roald Dahl inspirations to changing attitudes towards female composers. Victorian music continued to entertain, providing some of the most amusing posts. We learned to compose courtesy of the Melographicon, chortled at some rather alarming adverts in C19th concert programmes, and gasped at “Impossible ships in impractical positions“.

A post on a neglected box of parts led to an unexpected fondness for John Marsh, and an invitation to a blue plaque unveiling in Salisbury; there were reports from music library conferences in Leipzig and Edinburgh (we are already looking forward to Krakow 2019). Hans Keller and the Black Bear Music club made regular appearances, as did new arrivals at the Pendlebury.

Next week Kate will be looking forward to the year ahead, but for now, this is the year that was…


The deaths were announced of Robert Mann, a founder member of the Juilliard Quartet, and Hugh Masakela, trumpeter and anti-apartheid campaigner.


Skate1 001


MusiCB3 celebrated Victorian songs with sporting connections from winter sports to some extremely dodgy sailing.

The Canadian National Anthem O Canada became gender neutral.

K-Pop burst on the worldwide scene courtesy of the Winter Olympics.


The University mourned the death of Stephen Hawking. MusiCB3 looked back at his musical favourites.


Susi admired the eclecticism of Hans Keller’s library, and found a plethora of notes in unexpected places.

Swedish DJ and producer Tim Bergling AKA Avicii died tragically young.

Here at the UL we celebrated the work of female composers, especially those formerly believed to be “not worth a mention“.


Garon Records in King Street. Photographed for the Cambridge Evening News in the 1970s.

Long-time residents of Cambridge may remember Garon Records formerly a stall in the Market Square, it transferred to King Street and was well known as the place to buy jazz and blues records. Gavin Jones, its co-founder, passed away in May. From a small start-up on a market stall, Gavin went on to promote jazz gigs in the city. Garon Records also expanded to Oxford and Norwich. 


The deaths were announced of Brahms scholar and musicologist, Robert Pascall, and conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky.

Music libraries across the UK celebrated Make Music Day 2018, which included a mandolin workshop at Westminster Music Library, and a performance of unpublished manuscripts at the Gerald Coke Handel Collections.


Staff at the Music Department at the UL and the Pendlebury Library were sad to hear of the death of regular reader, Richard Maunder. Richard read Mathematics at Jesus, before moving to Christ’s for his PhD. With just a short break, he remained in Cambridge lecturing in Pure Mathematics for the rest of his professional life.

Music was his other great love. He completed a new version of Mozart’s Requiem, and wrote a book about the experience. He also made fine copies of period instruments.


The Golden Book of C.U.M.C. XRb.858.18B.X1

The Pendlebury Library were delighted to hear that their much loved Golden Book had been awarded a place in the Cambridge Libraries Digitisation Competition 2018. It has now been digitised and there will be more news on this shortly.

Composer and conductor, Oliver Knussen, died, aged 66.


MusiCB3 looked back on the career of “The Queen of Soul”, Aretha Franklin.

We thought of holidays recently taken and those yet to come. Anna braved the heatwave, and went to Leipzig for IAML’s annual congress. 


MusiCB3 was a woman down, when the editor managed to mangle her hand in the Isles of Scilly. You would never have guessed it though, thanks to the sterling work of Kate, Susi and Anna. A belated thank you for a tricky 2018.

Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert was nominated for 13 Emmys, and won five. It was one of the biggest award winners on the night.

Welsh tenor, and former Choral Scholar of St. John’s College, Kenneth Bowen passed away. 


It was a busy month at the Pendlebury and the UL. The UL hosted a Jenny Lind event as part of the Festival of Ideas, working closely with our colleagues at the Wisbech and Fenland museum, and Dr. Francesca Vella.

Meanwhile it was the start of a new academic year. A set of fresh faces, multiple tours of the UL and the Pendlebury, and some precision tour planning which included a few librarians stepping in to become tour guides at extremely short notice. New undergrads seemed to enjoy the displays, tackled a barrage of information (Don’t forget the card catalogues! Don’t be afraid to ask!), and have successfully made it into their second term. 

The musical world mourned the deaths of Charles Aznavour and Montserrat Caballe.


MusiCB3 delved into the Archives with a reflection on the First World War through the experience of Sir Arthur Bliss. 

The Music Department at the UL was thrilled to acquire a Roberto Gerhard manuscript to add to his Archive.

Oscar winning composer, Francis Lai, died aged 86. Best known for the score for Love Story, he also worked with Elton John and Carly Simon. He started his career as an accompanist for renowned chanteuse, Edith Piaf.  


Stephen Cleobury, Director of Music at King’s College, took part in his last service of Nine lessons and carols. He will be retiring in September 2019. 2018 was a particularly appropriate year as it also marked the centenary of the very first Nine lessons and carols at King’s. Kate celebrated the event with a display in the Anderson Room, and a post on MusiCB3.

It was a good month for Cambridge related news, with a performance in Newcastle Cathedral on Christmas Eve of a medieval Christmas carol, found wrapped into the binding of another manuscript here at the UL. It is believed that this was the first performance of Parit Virgo Filium in 550 years. 

Here’s to more discoveries and musical moments in 2019.



About mj263

Music Collections Supervisor at Cambridge University Library. Wide musical interests. Often to be found stuck in a composer's archive, or enthusing about antiquarian music.
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1 Response to 2018: That was the year that was…

  1. Pingback: 2019: Looking forward… | MusiCB3 Blog

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