Anna Wright

The supporters and benefactors of the Royal Manchester College of Music (RMCM): musical patronage and philanthropy in Manchester, 1891–1920

The main aim of Anna’s research is to make a study of the people involved in the establishment of the RMCM, beginning in 1891 and covering the period to 1920.

This will include not only individuals and organisations who acted as guarantors, made pledges and / or paid subscriptions to the RMCM but also those who were more closely involved as members of the Council and its officials, other advisers, and benefactors who provided support in kind. Furthermore, as there was considerable overlap in key personnel between the supporters of the RMCM and other musical organisations in the city at the time, a second aim is to study the records of subscribers to the Hallé Concerts Society (HCS) and Gentlemen’s Concerts (GC) for the same period. Contemporaneous records from other cultural and educations institutions in the city will also be consulted.

Resulting from a study of the archives of the relevant institutions, Anna’s research will involve the compilation of a database of the individuals and their involvement in one or more of them; from this she also plans to examine whether there were any formal or informal networks or connections that led the people concerned to support the RMCM, e.g. religious (Jewish, Unitarian, non-conformist); national identity (British, German, Russian); familial; gender; occupation; existing support for Hallé himself. It is also intended to consider the role of philanthropy and patronage in the context of the major musical institutions in Manchester at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries.

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