Tertis-White Collection

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Papers relating to Lionel Tertis (1876-1975) collected by John White (1938-2013). The collection comprises printed music and books (many with manuscript annotations), manuscript music, theses, journal issues, concert programmes, certificates, memorabilia, diaries, objects, photographs, instrument plans, posters, correspondence, and John White’s personal research files. Many items were acquired by John White from the collection of Harry Danks.

Administrative / Biographical History

Lionel Tertis was an English viola player who did much to transform the study and performance of the viola as a solo instrument. He studied piano, harmony and violin at Trinity College of Music between 1892 and 1894, then at the Hochschule für Musick in Leipzig and finally at the Royal Academy of Music where he began to specialize on the viola. He later taught viola at the Royal Academy of Music. In 1966 he was awarded an Honorary FTCL.

John White was an English viola player and author. A founder member of the Alberni quartet, he taught viola at the Royal Academy of Music from 1971 until 2001. In 2010 he was awarded the International Viola Society’s highest award, the Silver Alto Clef. His definitive biography of Lionel Tertis, Lionel Tertis: the First Great Virtuoso of the Viola, was published by Boydell Press in 2006.

Harry Danks was an English viola player and student of Lionel Tertis. He led the viola section of the BBC Symphony Orchestra for thirty-two years.

Conditions Governing Access

Some files are restricted in accordance with the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988 - please consult the library for further information.

Acquisition Information

Donated by the White family in February 2016.