Staff Newspaper of Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine
IC Reporter
  Issue 96, 3 July 2000
Sir Richard Sykes to be next Rector «
IC scientists create first transgenic malaria mosquito «
Beit Quad project update «
Your chance to toast the new Senior Common Room «
Top accolades reflect high standard of teaching «
The Queen's Birthday Honours List «
Wellcome Trust appoints new Governor «
Glaister joins new transport board «
Lords seek advice from management students «
Rector lambasts government for consistent underfunding «
Universities dismayed by threat of science cuts «
O&G topping out ceremony «
Reconstructing Rembrandt: the grim reaper exposed «
Review: Golden Jubilee for lunchtime concerts «
Regular Features
In Brief «
Media Mentions «
Noticeboard «

Golden Jubilee for lunchtime concerts
An appreciation by Trevor Bacon

On 18 May 1950, the first lunchtime concert took place when Harold Allan, department of physics, performed violin sonatas with Eric Brown, civil engineering, at the piano in the Council Room of the City and Guilds building.

During the second recital a week later, Sir Bryan Thwaites of aeronautics, a singer, pianist and conductor, accompanied Harold Allen once more. Sir Alec Skempton, mechanical engineering and flute, appeared soon after. The third recital was the first given by a professional musician.

Fifty years later on 18 May 2000, a large audience in the Read Theatre, including many people involved with the organisation over the years, heard Richard Dickins, IC music director, introduce the Golden Jubilee celebration with a short, informal and beautifully crafted account of the concerts.

Part of the justification for the concerts lies in the standards of dedication and intellectual intensity set by professional musicians, particularly as soloists or in small groups. These are exemplary even for those who work in disciplines as demanding as science and technology.

It was delightful to see Harold, Sir Bryan and Sir Alec all attending the Jubilee Concert. The College Quartet in Association, the Belcea Quartet, gave a programme consisting of Debussy's quartet and Ainsi la nuit, a quartet by Dutilleux.

The performances were superb - the Belceas performed the latter at Snape Maltings on the first full day of the Aldeburgh Festival last month and one can fervently endorse the reviews about it being an impeccable ensemble with the ability to penetrate the pieces it is playing.

The College can take great pride in recognising this extraordinary young group soon after its formation in 1994 at the RCM. The IC concerts have 'talent-spotted' several now world-famous artists, some of whom still visit us after 30 years or more.

An account of Fifty Years of Music at Imperial College has been written by Harold Allan and contains sections on the College Choir, Orchestral Music, Chamber Music and the future. Copies of the reminiscence may be obtained from Ainslee Rutledge: email a.rutledge.

The Jubilee concert at IC was a splendid way to start the next 50 years and, to follow it up, next month Phase 1 of the Blyth Music and Arts Centre will be opened on level 5 Sherfield Building.

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3 July 2000