Hamilton Harty Papers

Scope and Content

Collection of holograph manuscripts of the composer and conductor, Sir Hamilton Harty (1879-1941) featuring full and part scores to a range of orchestral and choral pieces composed or arranged by Harty, c 1900-1939. Included in the collection are arrangements of Handel and Berlioz, whose performances of which Harty was most noted, and autograph manuscripts of approx. 48 original works including 'Symphony in D (Irish)' (1915), 'The Children of Lir' (c1939), 'In Ireland, a Fantasy for flute, harp and small orchestra' and 'Quartet in F for 2 violins, viola and cello' for which he won the Feis Ceoil prize in 1900. The collection also contains an incomplete autobiographical memoir, letters, telegrams, photographs and various typescript copies of lectures and articles by Harty on Berlioz and piano accompaniment, c 1926-c 1936. The collection also includes a set of 5 scrapbooks containing cuttings from newspapers and periodicals, letters, photographs, autographs etc by or relating to Harty, compiled by his sisters-in-law, Olive and Nell Baguley.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir Hamilton Harty, Born, Hillsborough, Co. Down 4 Dec 1879. Organist in Belfast and Dublin by age 12, moving to London in 1900 where he became a sought-after pianoforte accompanist and conductor. In addition to giving many recitals with his wife, the soprano Agnes Nicholls (1877-1959), he became known as a conductor in concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra. From 1920 to 1933 he was conductor of the Halle Orchestra in Manchester. A composer in the Romantic Tradition, his works include a violin concerto, a tone poem, With the Wild Geese (1910), and the Irish Symphony (1924). He was knighted in 1925. He died on Feb. 19, 1941, Hove, Sussex, England.

Access Information

Open to consultation


Description compiled by Clare McVeigh (RASCAL Project), entered by Deirdre Wildy, Special Collections

Other Finding Aids

Handlist. See 'Calendar of Manuscripts Western and Oriental' for details (MS14). This calendar is available for consultation in the Special Collections Reading Room.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopying permitted depending on physical condition of the original and relevant copyright restrictions.

Appraisal Information

Important collection of original compositions by one of Britain's and Northern Ireland's foremost composers. Music, composition and arrangement. Biography.

Custodial History

The collection was initially received as a gift from Harty's sister-in-law, Miss Olive G. Baguley, Sussex, in 1946. The collection was subsequently supplemented with further additions in 1979 following centenary celebrations of Harty's birth. These additions included deposits from the late Olive Baguley, Robert Baker, Alan G. Melville and the publishers, Boosey & Hawkes.




Hamilton Harty: His Life and Music, ed. David Greer (Belfast, 1978). Hamilton Harty: His Life and Music, ed. David Greer (Belfast, 1978). Hamilton Harty: Early Memoirs, ed. David Greer (Belfast, 1979)Hamilton Harty: Early Memoirs, ed. David Greer (Belfast, 1979)"Hamilton Harty Manuscripts" by David Greer in Music Review, 47, 1986-87