Opera Scotland

Adrian Boult Suggest updates

Sir Adrian Cedric Boult, CH.

Born Chester, 8 April 1889.

Died London,  22 February 1983.

English conductor.

Sir Adrian Boult studied under Nikisch in Leipzig before the Great War.  He rapidly became a noted conductor, and led the premiere of Holst's Planets in 1917.  From 1924 he was in charge of the Birmingham orchestra, and moved to the BBC Symphony in 1930.  After his controversial compulsory retirement at 60 he was taken up by the London Philharmonic.

He continued to conduct major British orchestras and appear at the Proms until shortly before his death.  His last orchestral performances, when he no longer did full evenings, were of recognised specialities, conducting Elgar's Second Symphony and Holst's Planets at successive Proms.

Late appearances included two ballets to Elgar music - Ashton's Enigma Variations with the Royal Ballet, and an even shorter piece, The Sanguine Fan, a dance score from 1915, staged at the London Coliseum by London Festival (now English National) Ballet.  The quality of music-making he could still elicit even working with unfamiliar players was astonishing.  The Sanguine Fan was his final appearance.

He did not do staged opera after his period with BNOC.  However his BBC years, before the Second World War, were noted for his radio presentations of recent works, including operas by Berg (Wozzeck), Hindemith (Mathis der Maler) and Busoni (Doktor Faust).

Roles in Scotland

Parsifal 1926

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