1943 video clip with Sir Adrian Boult

Tom Service in his recent Guardian blog  posting flags up a short film clip from the film ‘Battle for Music’ made in 1943 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Sir Adrian Boult.  After an impassioned plea for support from JB Priestly, Boult conducts Elgar’s Cockaigne Overture.

5 Responses to 1943 video clip with Sir Adrian Boult

  1. An anecdote sent in to the LPO in response to this story:
    My husband, violinist John Kuchmy, (retired in 1984 after 47 years) was in the opening scenes of the film “Battle for Music”.
    The scene was set in a train and there was a “worried” discussion about the lack of financial backing at the time.
    In spite of the difficult conditions, members of the orchestra played jokes on each other to keep their spirits up.

    John was one of the people who actually bought a £1 share in the orchestra when they began to run themselves.
    He also performed as Piano Concerto soloist with them when they couldn’t afford to hire a big name pianist.

    On the 9th of October 1982 four members of the LPO, Nicholas Busch, Martin Parry, Marie Wilson and John Kuchmy all appeared on the Desert Island Discs interviewed by the original presenter Roy Plomley (BBC Radio 4 programme). It was pre-recorded on 15th July 1982.
    The war time effort was discussed as well as the precarious and hectic existence of orchestral musicians.
    I still receive a letter, every Christmas, from someone living in Cornwall who attended the wartime factory concerts, who was uplifted by hearing the wonderful music and has been grateful for the experience ever since.

    Cornelia Kuchmy

  2. alan greeley says:

    I’ve just watched this complete film and found it fascinating. The reason was that I was employed by the LPO in 1947 as office junior and salaries clerk to the orchestra so I knew most of the faces. Salaries were paid in cash and the musicians used to line up at a table where I sitting and signed for their little brown envelopes! A rank and file fiddle player earned £13 and ten shillings for a 28 hour week. Of course, I knew Thomas Russell and the Concert Director, Adolph Borsdorf brother of the 3rd horn Francis Bradley who features a lot in the film. When Sir Adrian Boult joined the orchestra as permanent conductor, he had the next office to mine!

    • londonphilharmonic says:

      Wonderful to have this background detail to this film and the early years of the orchestra. Thank you!

  3. alan greeley says:

    If anyone’s interested I can still remember lots more details about life at 53 Welbeck Street in the 40’s and 50’s!

  4. Rev. Bro. Jack Greeley says:

    What a pity mum did not have a computer!


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