Reid concerts

From 1841 to the present day musical performances in the form of concerts and recitals, known colloquially as the Reid Concerts, have been presented by the Department/Faculty of Music at The University of Edinburgh.  
The Reid School of Music is now a department within Edinburgh College of Art at the University of Edinburgh.

The term ‘Reid Concerts’ is best described in the writings of Professor Donald Francis Tovey,  Reid Professor of Music at the University of Edinburgh from 1914 to 1940:

"Since the establishment of the Reid Chair of Music … all concerts given under the direction of the Reid Professors of Music have been ipso facto Reid Concerts."  (Reid Concert programme, 21 October 1937)

The Reid Chair of the Theory of Music was established in the University of Edinburgh in 1839 according to the terms of a bequest from General John Reid.  One condition of the bequest was that an annual concert be presented in memory of General Reid, on his birthday,13 February. The first Reid Concert was given in 1841 under the direction of the first Reid Professor of Music, John Thomson.  Its programme book is considered to be one of the first in Great Britain to have analytical programme notes.&nbsp 


From 1839 to 2012 there have been only TEN Reid Professors of Music in The University of Edinburgh.

Each Professor influenced the development of academic music and the performance of music in the University, through their personal interpretations of the wishes of their benefactor, General John Reid.  To the one annual concert in the early years were added extra concerts, organ recitals, historical concerts, orchestral and chamber concerts gradually developing into an annual series of concerts.   These came to be known as the Reid Concerts.

The archives of the University of Edinburgh house documentation relating to the University concerts from 1841, however, there are gaps during the 1850s and 1860s for which some original material is unavailable. Evidence is not only in the form of printed programmes and newspaper advertisements but also in reviews and journal articles.