Author Archives: mj263

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.

To celebrate, to commemorate: South with Shackleton

The latest mini exhibition in the Anderson Room celebrates the centenary of the death of the great polar explorer, Ernest Shackleton, with music inspired by Shackleton and his expeditions to Antarctica. There’s a surprising amount of music, and books about … Continue reading

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Singing at the UL

In 1991, thirty years ago, the UL Choir was established. It was first conducted by Mary Halloran, then working in the Music Department at the UL, then Jeremy Wong took over. Tim Penton and Lucas Elkin swapped with each other … Continue reading

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To celebrate, to commemorate: Stephen Sondheim

It’s unusual for MusiCB3 to have two “To celebrate, to commemorate” posts in a row, but we couldn’t let the death of musical theatre supremo, Stephen Sondheim, go by without celebrating his life and music. The outpouring of grief, love, … Continue reading

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Hail! Bright Cecilia

It is usual at this time of year to think about Halloween, Remembrance Sunday and Christmas.  On my journeys home from work I pass by the railings of St Botolph’s Church where in pre-Covid times there were many posters advertising … Continue reading

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Music and Bonfire Night

You may wonder what’s not to like about Bonfire Night? Watching a bonfire together is very cosy and the fireworks give it that extra oomph; but there is also the other business of burning the guy – Guy Fawkes. One … Continue reading

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Trick or treat?

A little bat from the Pendlebury recently sent me this… Pendlebury staff are getting ready for Halloween. Although they’re not able to celebrate the night itself as it falls over this weekend, they’re going to get into the spirit (see … Continue reading

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A leave-taking

A few weeks ago I was at the wonderful Alwyn Music Festival, which takes place in deepest Suffolk, annually at the beginning of October. The William Alwyn Music Festival, as it was originally called, was set up by the William … Continue reading

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To celebrate, to commemorate: Pauline Viardot at 200

As for Mme Viardot, her performance is worthy of a study by itself. Her gifts are so complete and so varied, they touch on so many aspects of music and combine such fine technique with irresistible spontaneity, that they inspire … Continue reading

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Small but mighty

I was born and raised in the historical county of Monmouthshire, a small but populous county in the south-east corner of Wales….or possibly England. Map makers are confused, and no wonder. A history teacher at my secondary school commented that … Continue reading

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Murderous rhymes

Agatha Christie is one of my favourite detective novelists, writing 66 crime novels and 153 short stories between 1920-1973. She had many titles in her time, my favourite being, the “Duchess of Death”. She was also known as the “Mistress … Continue reading

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