Works and papers of Josef, Wenceslas and Ladislao Zavertal, musicians and composers, with a collection of Mozart material

Scope and Content

The collection contains compositions and correspondence of Ladislao, Joseph and Wenceslas Zavertal along with some Mozart ephemera.

Compositions by Ladislao include several operas and cantatas, about 20 part-songs and some 50 songs, over 60 items for orchestra or military band, over 60 pieces of chamber and instrumental music, and a number of arrangements of works by other composers. About 60 of the works held include a set of parts.

In addition, there is a considerable amount of archival material, including numerous letters. Among the correspondents are Dvork, Sir Edward German, Sir Alexander Campbell Mackenzie, and Sir Arthur Sullivan.

The holding of music by Wenceslas Zavertal comprises songs and part-songs, a number of pieces for orchestra or military band (mostly with parts), and about a dozen chamber and instrumental pieces. On the literary side are notebooks, diaries, a partial autobiography and letters, including one from Dvork and a postcard from Grieg.

There is one piece of piano music by Joseph Zavertal.

At the time that Ladislao Zavertal donated his musical works, the University benefitted also by the gift of a number of Mozart relics which had belonged to Wenceslas Zavertal, who was a friend of Mozart's son Karl. Of these, the portrait of Mozart's wife Constanze, by Josef Lange, is in the care of the Hunterian Art Gallery, while the remainder, including Mozart's penultimate letter mentioning the first performance of the Magic Flute, are in the Library.

Administrative / Biographical History

The brothers Josef (1819-1893) and Wenceslas (1821-1899) Zavertal studied music at the Prague Conservatorium, Czech Republic, while Wenceslas's son, Ladislao, studied mainly in Italy. Wenceslas was a friend of the composer Wolfgang Amedeus Mozart's son, Karl, who gave him various Mozart relics.

The association with Glasgow, Scotland, came in 1872 when Ladislao was for a short time Special Instructor to the Band of the North Devon Regiment (11th Foot) which was based there. He was involved in various musical activities in the city for a number of years before becoming Master of the Royal Artillery Band in 1881, which he remained until he retired in 1906. Henry Farmer who had been a bandsman for some time during Zavertal's reign in the R A Band, kept in touch with his former director and initiated negotiations which led finally to the deposit in Glasgow University Library of the families manuscripts, plus a few published works, in 1928.


The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received

Access Information

Access to records is open, however an appointment may be required. Please email Archives and Special Collections for advice:

Acquisition Information

Gift : Ladislao Zavertal : 1928 : ACCN 4627

Other Finding Aids

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents. Applications for permission to quote should be sent to Archives and Special Collections, please email:

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 247 procedures

Custodial History

Held by Ladislao Zavertal and presented to the University via George Farmer


Gift : Estate of Ladislao Zavertal : 1949: ACCN 4628

Related Material

GB 247 MS Farmer: Papers of George Henry Farmer