1924 to 1935 Robert Mayer Concerts for Children

When Adrian Bolt became the conductor for the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in 1924,  Malcolm Sargent took over as the conductor and guide of the Orchestra Concerts for Children, where he remained until 1939.

Malcolm Sargent – Biography  by Charles Reid

The Stepney offshoot was the earliest (1925) and the most daring. The inaugural concert and those that followed were at the People’s Palace in the Mile End Road, a swarming Cockney neighbourhood more acquainted than most with hard times, under-nourishment and threadbare pallor.All things considered, Stepney was as remote as the moon from the refinements of classical culture.

The first Saturday morning is well remembered. The hall was three parts full of urchins and bigger boys and girls who had paid fourpence to get in and, being a bit bewildered, were by Stepney standards, relatively quiet.Sargent bounded on to the platform with his elating smile and a ‘Good morning, boys and girls!’ which conquered them as surely as his ‘Good morning, gentlemen!’ conquered the D’Oyly Carte chorusmen.But how would the boys and girls take J. S. Bach?

The centerpiece of the programme was a movement from the E major violin concerto. It had been listed with some misgiving.

Sargent opened with a talk on John Sebastian the schoolboy: over 250 school hours missed in three years, perhaps through illness……..The concerto soloist then came forward. This was Samuel Kutcher, who was to be leader of the Mayers’ orchestra for many seasons. The music began. No whispering and wriggling in seats. Instead, utter absorption. If it hadn’t been for the music,’ Robert Mayer recalls, ‘you could have heard a pin drop.’

 

Full Concert Program – Flip Books

Single Page Leaflets 1925  to  1933

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