Rubbra Study Day


OU music PhD student Lucy Cradduck is organising a study day about the English composer Edmund Rubbra, to be held at the Royal College of Music on 6 November.

Rubbra (1901–86) won an open scholarship to the Royal College of Music in 1921, where he studied composition with Gustav Holst and R.O. Morris.  Although known today chiefly for his eleven symphonies and liturgical choral music, Rubbra’s compositions embrace all genres.

This study day provides a rare opportunity to find out more about Rubbra’s life, work and music, including a lunchtime recital of chamber and solo instrumental works performed by RCM musicians.

Spaces are still available. Registration is free, but booking is essential.  Please phone the RCM box office 020 7591 4314 (Mon-Fri 10am-4pm).

 Rubbra Study Day Programme

Sunday 6 November

Inner Parry Room, Royal College of Music

Presented by the Royal College of Music and the OU Music Department

10.00               Arrival, registration and coffee

10.30               Welcome

Session 1
10.45               Fifty years of music: Rubbra and his times in his own words
                         Lewis Foreman (Rubbra author and Birmingham University)

11.15                 Fifty shades of grey?  Rubbra and the orchestra
                         John Pickard (Bristol University)

11.45                Rubbra and the BBC
                         Leo Black (Rubbra author and independent scholar)

12.15                Lunch

13.00               Recital of chamber music by Rubbra
                         RCM musicians (see programme below)

Session 2
14.15               Rubbra’s fascination with the East
                        Lucy Cradduck (The Open University)

14.45               Rubbra’s nighttime
                         Jonathan Clinch (Birmingham and Cambridge Universities)

15.15               Rubbra and Peter Sculthorpe: spiritual parallels
                        Fiona Richards (The Open University)

15.45               Panel/Q&A
                         Rubbra’s sons Adrian Yardley and Benedict Rubbra will be joined by Lewis
                         Foreman to talk about Rubbra as they knew him.

16.15               Closing comments

16.30               Tea and depart

Programme of Rubbra works for lunchtime recital:
Discourse, Op. 127, for harp and cello
Pezzo Ostinato, Op. 102, for solo harp
Variations on a Phrygian Theme, Op. 105, for solo violin
String Quartet No. 2, Op. 73


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3 Responses to Rubbra Study Day

  1. Andrew Baker says:


    Is it possible to put me in touch with Adrian Yardley? I used to meet Adrian at music library conferences (I was music librarian at Staffordshire). I was in touch with Adrian before he retired as my grandfather had been a friend of Rubbra when they both in their teens.

    By chance I am staying in Amersham the week before this event on a photographic trip to the Chilterns and I would like to be go for a walk up Highwood Bottom and see where Rubbra lived. Is the composing hut still there? Maybe Adrian could let me know exactly where it is or was???

  2. Lucy Cradduck says:

    Hello Andrew

    When I walked along Highwood Bottom about five years ago, Rubbra’s composing hut was still visible at the top of the field behind his house (Valley Cottage). Hopefully, it’s still there!

  3. Lucy Cradduck says:

    Incidently, Rubbra’s son Benedict continued to live at Valley Cottage until about 15 years ago. He is an artist, and has a brand new website:

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