Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)MS22
TitlePapers of Harold Rhodes
Extent6 manuscript boxes, 2 outsize photographs, 2 gramophone records
DescriptionManuscript music compositions and sketches, published music, drafts of his unfinished book on Mozart, copies of published articles, photographs, recordings, programmes and some personal papers of Harold William Rhodes (1889-1956) which relate to his career as organist, composer, church musician and scholar
ArrangementThe collection is arranged in three series: published music; manuscript music; and other papers
Access ConditionsAccess to all registered researchers
Finding AidsA catalogue of this collection is available on the online archive catalogue. Click on the Finding Number to display the summary contents list of the catalogue and to view the full catalogue. A paper copy of this catalogue is also available for consultation at Special Collections.
Access StatusOpen
Administrative HistoryHarold William Rhodes entered the Royal College of Music in 1904 at the prodigious age of 14. He won an open scholarship for the organ in 1905 and one for composition in 1908, studying for the latter under Sir Charles Stanford.

By 1908, Rhodes was assistant organist to Sir Walter Parratt at St George's Chapel, Windsor and in 1910 he became Music Master at Lancing College. Two years later he was appointed organist at St John's, Torquay and began his DMus degree through the University of London, corresponding for tuition with Norman Sprankling of Bristol. His career took him to the post of Organist and Director of Music at Coventry Cathedral in 1928 and then, in 1933, to the same position at Winchester Cathedral where he remained until his retirement in 1949. Dr Rhodes died on 27 March 1956 at his home in Sanderstead, Surrey.

As a composer, Rhodes achieved notable success during his own lifetime in publishing and broadcasts, the most noted of which was his 'Sonata for Cello and Pianforte'. He wrote solo songs, anthems and hymns, part songs, chamber music and solo keyboard music and also left a considerable corpus of material which remained incomplete at his death. This included very substantial drafts for a dramatic cantata entitled 'The Wild Swans' and a virtually complete draft of a choral piece entitled 'The Ancient Mariner' (which comprises more than 200 completely orchestrated pages of music for orchestra and double choir). His largest venture into any genre were his numerous song settings (most of which are incomplete) and they include settings of Browning, Shelley and Robert Bridges. Rhodes also wrote articles for newspapers and journals , particularly on the subject of church music. He was also an admirer of the works of Mozart and undertook research for and produced drafts of a book entitled 'Essential Mozart'. The book was never completed and after Rhodes's death, the material was worked on and ordered by his sister, Lilian E. Wallbank.

[The biographical information is based largely on the entry for Rhodes in Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians (5th edition); other information has been extracted from his papers]
Custodial HistoryRhodes's papers were presented in 1997 by his nephew, Roger Wallbank, and by his son and daughter-in-law.
This catalogue is largely based on work by Michael Brown, a postgraduate in the Department of Music, who sorted and identified the papers and produced a detailed listing during 1997/98 as part of his degree course


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