2019 anniversary dates associated with Music at the University of Edinburgh

2019 anniversary dates associated with Music at the University of Edinburgh

Scotland’s first Chair of Music was founded in 1839 in Edinburgh under the terms of the will of General John Reid, a renowned flute player and composer who died in 1807. These terms and the accompanying bequest established the Chair of Music at the University, and an annual concert in his memory to be presented by the Professor of Music. The first concert took place in February 1841 and this arrangement continued for over fifty years, during which time the Department of Music was within the Faculty of Arts. 

In the early 1890s The University of Edinburgh, under the guidance of the Scottish Universities Commission under the Universities (Scotland) Act, 1889, established a Faculty of Music based on the art and science of the theory of music. This new Faculty had the power to offer, for the first time in Scotland, degrees in Music; the Professor of Music became the first Dean of the new Faculty of Music, and radical changes were made to the teaching curriculum. In 1893 the Scottish Universities’ Commissioners, published their final Ordinance on the Music Chair and the Draft Ordinance on Graduation in Music [Ordinance no. 34. Edinburgh, no. 8 – regulations for degrees in music], laid before parliament and ‘approved by Her Majesty in Council’ on 29 January 1894.

The Faculty of Music was listed for the first time in the 1893-1894 University Calendar and the first annual Reid Commemoration concert under the auspices of the new Faculty, and the first given in the University Music Class Room, was held in February 1894.

2019 anniversaries:

  1. 180th First Professor of Music at the University of Edinburgh, John Thomson, elected 1839
  2. 160th University Music Class Room (now the Reid Concert Hall), opened 1859
  3. 150th First Reid Concert given by Charles Hallé and the Hallé Orchestra, 1869
  4. 125th First Reid Commemoration concert under the auspices of the Faculty of Music, February 1894
  5. 105th Usher Hall, Edinburgh, opened1914
  6. 105th Seventh Professor and Second Reid Professor of Music, Donald Francis Tovey, elected 1914 following the retirement of Professor Niecks
  7. 95th Sixth Professor and first Reid Professor of Music, Frederick Niecks, died 1924
  8. 90th Ninth Professor, and fourth Reid Professor of Music, Kenneth Leighton, born 1929
  9. 90th Professor Donald Francis Tovey’s opera ‘The Bride of Dionysus’ premiered at Edinburgh’s Empire Theatre (now the Festival Theatre), April 1929
  10. 85th World premiere of Tovey’s Concerto in C major, for violoncello and full orchestra, op. 40, performed by Pablo Casals, Reid Orchestral Concert, November 1934
  11. 75th Dame Ethel Smyth, composer and guest conductor of the Reid Orchestra, 1928, 1929 and 1931, died 1944
  12. 75th Sir Henry Wood, guest conductor of the Reid Orchestra, 1940, died 1944
  13. 70th Reid Choir set up in 1936 by Professor Tovey, disbanded 1949
  14. 65th Donald Runnicles, Faculty of Music student, Hon. Doctor of Music and conductor, born 1954
  15. 60th William Watt Jupp, leader of the Reid Orchestra 1924–1934, died 1959
  16. 60th Mrs Alexander Maitland, performer and supporter of the Reid Orchestra, awarded the degree of Hon. Doctor of Music in 1936, died 1959
  17. 60th James MacMillan, Faculty of Music student and composer, born 1959
  18. 55th Mary Gardner Grierson, Faculty of Music student, pianist, colleague of Tovey and (assistant) conductor of the Reid Orchestra, died 1964
  19. 25th Faculty of Music Centenary Concert, Reid Concert Hall, February 1994
  20. 10th Edward Harper, composer, performer, member of staff in the Faculty of Music/Reid School of Music and conductor of the Reid Orchestra, died 2009

I have listed here 20 significant occasions, by no means a comprehensive list but I thought it was an interesting selection that was worthy of mention.  
Further information about some of the individuals and events mentioned here can be found on the Reid Concerts Database.