Records of the Orchestral Employers' Association

Scope and Content

Administrative and financial records of the Orchestral Employers’ Association (O.E.A.), including correspondence concerning the formation of the O.E.A., 1946-1949, minutes, 1948-1971, accounts, 1956-1962, agreements and contracts, 1964-1968, O.E.A. report on the finance of British orchestras, 1971, circulars, 1964-1967, correspondence, 1949-1962, and papers of Wilfred Stiff, secretary of the O.E.A., 1957-1969; papers relating to the O.E.A. and the Musicians’ Union, 1949-1962, including minutes of the sub-committee on future rates of pay and conditions for symphony orchestras, 1961-1964; papers relating to the O.E.A. and industrial disputes and tribunals, 1953-1962; papers relating to York Conference on Finance for Orchestras, including draft reports and correspondence, 1970.

Minutes, correspondence, reports and associated papers relating to the work of the O.E.A. with orchestral organisations and venues, including Barbican Concert Hall, 1965-1968, Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra, 1949-1962, Boyd Neel Orchestra, 1954, British Broadcasting Corporation, 1949-1962, British Music Centre, 1961, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, 1949-1962, Composers’ Guild of Great Britain, 1961, Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts (Northern Ireland), 1958-1964, Halle Concerts Society, 1950-1962, Liverpool Philharmonic Society Ltd, 1951-1952, London Orchestral Concert Board Ltd, 1965-1968, London Philharmonic Orchestra, 1950-1962, London Symphony Orchestra Ltd, 1950-1962, Music Publishers’ Association, 1957-1961, National Association of Symphony Orchestras, 1953-1962, National Music Council of Great Britain, 1957-1962, Northern Sinfonia Orchestra, 1960-1962, People to People program of the USA, 1958-1961, Performing Right Society, 1958-1962, Performing Right Society and Songwriters’ Guild, 1961, Philharmonia Orchestra, 1957-1962, Phoenix Trusts, 1959-1962,Royal Festival Hall, 1958-1964, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society, 1951-1962, Royal Opera House, 1962, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, 1961-1962, The Schools’ Music Association, 1959-1964, The Scottish National Orchestra Society Ltd, 1951-1952, Scottish National Orchestra, 1961-1962, Visiting Orchestras Consultative Association, 1955-1962, and Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra, 1949-1952.

Material relating to external committees and enquiries, including the House of Commons debate on the Arts, 1959, the Arts Council enquiry into Orchestral Resources (the Peacock Committee), 1954-1970, ‘Housing the Arts,’ the Arts Council report on concert halls in the provinces of England, 1959-1961, the Pilkington Committee on broadcasting, 1960-1961, the Goodman Committee’s report on London orchestras, 1964-1965, and the Computer Booking Working Party, 1969-1970.

Administrative / Biographical History

The present Association of British Orchestras originated in 1948 as the Orchestral Employers’ Association. Its purpose was to be ‘an advisory and consultant body [on] matters of common interest in the organisation and maintenance of orchestras,’ negotiating with the Musicians’ Union and other bodies on behalf of its membership.

At that time, its membership consisted largely of orchestras receiving annual funding from the newly established Arts Council of Great Britain. By 1989 the Association had 35 member organisations, and by 2014 it had over 175.

In 1973 the constitution of the Association was revised to conform with the new Industrial Relations Act and as a result its name was changed to the Association of British Orchestras.

Today the Association continues to represent its members to a range of national and international organisations. In addition, it runs an extensive programme of activities to support the development of the UK’s orchestral life, including courses and seminars and its annual conference, as well as promoting musical education in schools.

Arrangement

The archive is arranged in files alphabetically according to subject.

Conditions Governing Access

Records are open to the public, subject to the overriding provisions of relevant legislation, including data protection laws.

Acquisition Information

The archive was deposited at the Borthwick Institute in 1978.

Note

The present Association of British Orchestras originated in 1948 as the Orchestral Employers’ Association. Its purpose was to be ‘an advisory and consultant body [on] matters of common interest in the organisation and maintenance of orchestras,’ negotiating with the Musicians’ Union and other bodies on behalf of its membership.

At that time, its membership consisted largely of orchestras receiving annual funding from the newly established Arts Council of Great Britain. By 1989 the Association had 35 member organisations, and by 2014 it had over 175.

In 1973 the constitution of the Association was revised to conform with the new Industrial Relations Act and as a result its name was changed to the Association of British Orchestras.

Today the Association continues to represent its members to a range of national and international organisations. In addition, it runs an extensive programme of activities to support the development of the UK’s orchestral life, including courses and seminars and its annual conference, as well as promoting musical education in schools.

Other Finding Aids

A typescript finding aid, to file level, is available for consultation in the searchroom of the Borthwick Institute.

Archivist's Note

Created by S. A. Shearn, 16.06.15.

Conditions Governing Use

A reprographics service is available to researchers subject to the access restrictions outlined above. Copying will not be undertaken if there is any risk of damage to the document. Copies are supplied in accordance with the Borthwick Institute for Archives' terms and conditions for the supply of copies, and under provisions of any relevant copyright legislation. Permission to reproduce images of documents in the custody of the Borthwick Institute must be sought.

Access to the archive is granted on the understanding that a copy of any written work based on material in the archive will be sent to The Secretary, Association of British Orchestras, 32 Rose Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9ET.

Accruals

Further accruals are not expected.

Additional Information

Published

GB 193