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About us Days in the life of Haydn Wood The recorded works The lyrics of Roses of Picardy
Contact us Haydn Wood and Slaithwaite Live performances Roses of Picardy printed music
  Haydn Wood and the Isle of Man   The performers of Roses of Picardy
The Haydn Wood Music Shop Haydn Wood, symphonist   A discography of Roses of Picardy
Our CD A Breezy Ballad Haydn Wood and films   Roses of Picardy in films
Our lectures Haydn Wood 2009   Roses of Picardy: a research in progress




Days in the life of Haydn Wood


[January] [February] [March] [April] [May] [June] [July] [August] [September] [October] [November] [December]

October 1st, 1955 Haydn Wood is present at a broadcast of his Introduction and Minuet for oboe by the famous oboist Evelyn Rothwell (Lady Barbirolli). He and Dorothy feel sorry that they cannot see and congratulate her after the broadcast. He writes to her the next day: 'I can't tell you how delighted Dorothy and I were … I do hope that at some future date you will include the other movements in one of your broadcasts.'


October 2nd, 1939
Haydn Wood writes to Kenneth Wright, Assistant Director of Music at the BBC: 'I am having rather a thin time on the air lately. Now that the income tax is 7/6 in the £1, we British composers want all we can get and we have to look to broadcasting principally these days.'


October 6th, 1906 Haydn Wood's agent Noel Vert advertises his client's forthcoming engagements on a tour in Great Britain of soprano Madame Albani's Concert Party. He will accompany her on his violin in Mozart's Non temer, and will play the first movement of Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata with pianist Adela Verne. Moreover he will make a great success in such famous and popular violin gems as Dvorak's Humoresque.

The Daily Telegraph, October 6th, 1906.


October 7 th, 1933
Haydn Wood inaugurates the new organ in the restaurant of Kennards, a department store in Croydon, London. On this occasion he accompanies the soprano Emily Gardener in several of his songs.


October 9th, 1937
Thirteen Northern bands compete in the Annual Military Band Championship in Manchester, U.K. The required test-piece is Haydn Wood's Manx Tone Poem Mannin Veen "Dear Isle of Man".


October 10th, 1919
Haydn Wood charms the audience of the Chough Musical Society with his well-known violin solos, in the Great Hall of the Cannon Street Hotel, London.


October 11th, 1948
This afternoon, Haydn Wood visits the Handside School in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire. The occasion is the distribution of certificates to the 52 successful students who passed the Trinity College of Music examinations. At this special occasion, their music teacher Harry Pickard conducts a mixed choir, and among their songs is Princess Elizabeth of England which Wood composed in 1947.


October 13th, 1913
Violinist Haydn Wood and soprano Dorothy Court blend their talents and, with their pianist Ethel Robinson, make their first variety appearance together at the Hippodrome, Boscombe, Dorset. He plays variations of his own composing. Dorothy sings Bird of Love Divine which he composed in 1912 and for which he plays a violin obbligato. Next come a Sérénade by Gabriel Pierné, and a Hungarian Dance by Hauser. The concluding item, with pretty scenic effects, is Wonderful Garden of Dreams (composed by Dorothy G. Forster) sung by Dorothy with celesta accompaniment and violin obbligato.

The Hippodrome, Boscombe.


October 14th, 1944
Haydn Wood writes to the new BBC Director of Music, Victor Hely-Hutchinson: 'Over 2½ years ago I submitted to the BBC an arrangement for string orchestra of my Phantasy Quartet … I was promised a broadcast of the work. As I did not hear anything further I wrote again during Arthur Bliss's directorship … Mr Bliss re-affirmed this promised performance. This has not materialised so forgive me for now appealing to you for your help. I should be greatly obliged if you would kindly use your influence.' Wood will win his case and conduct the BBC Symphony Orchestra in the first broadcast of the Fantasy-Concerto for string orchestra on January 22nd, 1945, from Bedford.


October 17th, 1924
Haydn Wood and Dorothy Court, with their pianist Lily Mackenzie, play at the Alhambra Theatre in Paris, France. This is their first day here, of a four-week contract.


October 20th, 1918
A performance is given at the Holborn Empire in aid of the Holborn Division of the British Red Cross Society. Haydn Wood and Dorothy Court are among the artists who, along with the manager of the Holborn Empire, ensure the success of the entertainment which is under the patronage of the Mayor of Holborn.


October 21st, 1940
Haydn Wood listens to Winston Churchill's speech and finds it 'very encouraging.'


October 22nd, 1913
Haydn Wood concertizes in his birthplace Slaithwaite, Yorkshire. He is the main attraction in a concert given by the local Philharmonic Society at the Liberal Hall. Haydn's sister Eliza plays the piano accompaniments. He performs well-loved violin solos and his own Slumber Song. Baritone Montague Borwell sings Wood's The Sea Road (words by P. J. O'Reilly) while the composer plays a violin obbligato.


October 23rd, 1931
Haydn Wood reads in the Radio Times that a selection from the musical play Tina will be broadcast on the 26th and that the music is attributed only to Paul Rubens. He writes to the BBC: 'I should be glad if you would kindly make a note that I am joint-composer with the late Paul Rubens in this play, and oblige.'


October 25th, 1917
A fine matinée for King George's Fund for Sailors is billed at the Grand Theatre, Leeds, Yorkshire. Amongst prominent names of artistes giving their services are Haydn Wood and Dorothy Court with their pianist. Dorothy sings Wood's Roses of Picardy and Love Goes Gathering Roses. The trio is currently playing this week at the Hippodrome, Leeds.


October 26th, 1907
Madame Albani and her Concert Party are in Perth, Australia. Today is their third concert at the Queen's Hall and their farewell concert to Australia. They have been touring Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania for 4½ months. As usual, Haydn Wood plays several violin solos, and violin obbligatos to Albani's singing. This evening is special: it is the first public performance of a new song For Thee. It was written by Glanville Hicks, poet and editor of the Wellington Freelance (New Zealand) who gave it to Haydn Wood to set to music. Both the singer, tenor William Green, and the composer are recalled and heartily applauded.


October 28th, 1945
A concert is given in aid of the Borough of Biderford Welcome Home Fund, at the Strand Cinema, Bideford, North Devon. Haydn Wood has organized this concert with Arthur E. Batterick who is the manager of the cinema. The programme includes famous arias from operas by Gounod, Mozart and Verdi, and three instrumental solos. Contralto Muriel Gale sings The Stars Looked Down and soprano Olive Groves sings A Bird Sang in the Rain, both composed by Wood. A Bird Sang in the Rain has a violin obbligato played by the composer himself. Baritone George Baker gives the first performance of Wood's setting of Prayer in the Desert, an anonymous poem written by a soldier in a trench during the battle of El Agheila. The last number in the concert is Land of Hope and Glory by Elgar.


October 30th, 1937
Joseph Lewis is the guest conductor of the Norwich Municipal Orchestra at St. Andrew's Hall. The principal work performed is Haydn Wood's Concerto for violin and orchestra in A minor. The composer is present to hear it, and after the performance he goes on the platform to shake hands with the conductor, the leader of the orchestra, and the soloist Joseph Shadwick. The concert ends with Wood's Mannin Veen.

[January] [February] [March] [April] [May] [June] [July] [August] [September] [October] [November] [December]

November 1st, 1943
Haydn Wood writes to Kenneth Wright, Assistant Director of Music at the BBC: 'For your private ear – I should be glad if you would advise me if you think it would be any use my writing the BBC making the following suggestion re next year's 50th anniversary of the Promenade Concerts. That is, to invite living composers, who have conducted their own works during Sir Henry Wood's "reign", to appear as guest conductors in one [of] their compositions. As I happen to be one of these composers it may well be that I am suggesting it from a selfish motive. In any case, I think the idea is an interesting one.'


November 2nd, 1915
Tina, a musical play composed by Paul A. Rubens and Haydn Wood is premiered at the Royal Adelphi Theatre, London. This is Wood's first foray in this genre and he composed seven out of the twenty-seven numbers.


November 3rd, 1940
Haydn Wood writes to his publisher Leslie Boosey: 'If we don't hurry up I am afraid that our claim to the title "The Torch of Freedom" will be jumped. I don't know whether you noticed it, but soon after the Prime Minister accepted the dedication of the march he used the words Feedom's Torch in one of his speeches; and I am enclosing a cutting from today's Sunday Dispatch in which the words the "Torch of Freedom" occurs. Some publisher or composer is bound to read this and pounce on the title.' And Wood urges Boosey to reserve the title by getting an announcement in the press that Winston Churchill has accepted the dedication of his march. Boosey, who suggested the title Torch of Freedom, and his business partner Ralph Hawkes, will take action and consider immediately publishing a piano version of the march, before the original orchestral version.


November 5th, 1939
Haydn Wood has listened the night before to a broadcast of A Song in the Night composed by Raymond Loughborough and sung by Stanford Robinson's wife, Lorely Dyer. On the strength of her singing, he suggests to his publisher Leslie Boosey that he sends to Stanford Robinson, who is the BBC Director of Music Productions, the score and parts in manuscript of Wood's paraphrase on A Song in the Night with the view to having it broadcast. Boosey answers that they have already shown the paraphrase to Robinson without success. This contributed to Boosey's decision not to publish it.


November 6th, 1937
Hungaria, a rhapsody for accordion recently composed by Haydn Wood, is the test piece for piano-accordion soloists in the National Amateur Accordion Championship Contest. The composer attends the event at Central Hall Westminster, London, and congratulates the winner, Charles E. J. Bishop, a ten-year-old boy from Portsmouth.


November 8th, 1907

Haydn Wood with Madame Albani's concert party stays at the Galle Face Hotel, Colombo, Ceylon. He writes two postcards to his sweetheart in London, Dorothy, whom he left behind more than six months ago. The concert party is going to give two performances in Colombo, and then sail to India.


November 9th, 1950
Haydn Wood writes to Douglas Lawrence, Light Music Supervisor at the BBC: 'I am venturing to send you three programmes … in the hope that one of them may appeal to you as a broadcast under the title "A Light Composer in Serious Mood". I think the idea is original as far as I know.' These programmes could include either his violin concerto or his piano concerto plus compositions such as his Eighteenth Century Scherzo, the Scherzo Fantastique and the Variations on a Once Popular Humorous Song. BBC's Head of Music Herbert Murill thinks that Wood's 'serious music lacks the individuality of his lighter stuff and is sometimes reminicent of rather diluted Elgar.' He will not consider broadcasting any of the composer's three suggested programmes, but he will encourage his colleagues to include some of the works singly in general programmes. Actually the BBC would ultimately broadcast Wood's piano concerto twice (in 1951 and 1952).


November 10th, 1897

Having entered the Royal College of Music at age 15 on May 3rd, 1897, this is the first college concert in which Haydn Wood performs. It takes place at the Imperial Institute, London, which is within walking distance of the College.


November 12th, 1902
Haydn Wood is the concertmaster in a performance of King Gobnageay or The Magic Cup and The Buggane of St. Trinian's, at the Gaiety Theatre, Douglas, Isle of Man. The words and lyrics are by Wm. Hanby. Haydn's brother Harry has composed the music and conducts the orchestra. Their sister Adeline has invented the dances. This phantasmagoria will be repeated the next day.


November 13th, 1936
Haydn Wood attends the funeral service for composer Sir Edward German (born 1862) at Golders Green Crematorium, London.


November 14th, 1956
Haydn Wood authorises and requests The Performing Right Society to pay to The Songwriters Guild of Great Britain 2 % of the net fees payable to him, up to a maximum of twenty pounds of the distributions made during each year.


November 15th, 1934
Haydn Wood writes to his publisher Leslie Boosey: 'Some months ago, I arranged a couple of violin obbligatos for Ravini's Serenade and another song, the title of which I forget. The fee, four guineas, appears to have been over-looked, so would you kindly remind your cashier about the matter.' The song which Wood has forgotten is I Bring My Love composed by Frederick Curzon.


November 16th, 1916
Haydn Wood assigns to Chappell & Co, London, all the copyright throughout the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, its Colonies and Dependencies, and all Foreign Countries, of and in the music of the song entitled Roses of Picardy.


November 18th, 1907
While Haydn Wood is playing to the press at Government House, Madras, India, his violin drops to pieces in his hands, owing to the excessive heat. He despairs of having it repaired. Sympathizing with him in his distress, a native persuades him to take the violin to an old Indian instrument maker. The craftsman puts the violin together so that Wood is able to play as usual that evening with Madame Albani's Concert Party, even though he arrives late.


November 20th, 1943
Haydn Wood sends to Kenneth Wright, Assistant Director of Music at the BBC, parts for military band of a march founded on a song - Wake Up, You Son of a Gun! - that he composed in 1935 for a film called The Small Man. It was sung by Thorpe Bates and accompanied by the Foden's Brass Band which Wood conducted in the picture. 'I have never heard this arrangement so do not know what it sounds like. If you try it and it is bad, throw it in the waste paper basket for salvage.'


November 21st, 1939
Haydn Wood sends a copy of his catalogue, which he has just had printed, to Kenneth Wright, Assistant Director of Music at the BBC. And he takes this opportunity of asking if Wright 'can fix that broadcast which has been on the tapis for so long.' Wood is anxious to get his variations for cello and orchestra into print, but would like to wait until he hears them before doing so. On July 30th, he actually asked the BBC for the opportunity of conducting the first performance of the cello variations. He will have the opportunity to do so on December 21st.


November 22nd, 1940
Haydn Wood finishes a copy of the original score of his Philharmonic Variations for cello and orchestra for his publisher Boosey & Hawkes.

The last five bars of the solo cello and strings parts of Philharmonic Variations in Haydn Wood's manuscript.


November 24th, 1949
Haydn Wood dedicates a copy of his Fantasy-Concerto for string orchestra and a copy of Soliloquy to conductor Sir Malcolm Sargent.


November 25th, 1940
Haydn Wood congratulates the Performing Right Society staff for their excellent work in issuing a detailed Distribution of Broadcasting Fees statement 'during these terrible days of stress'.


November 26th, 1927
Haydn Wood in London sends a telegram to his brother Harry in Douglas, Isle of Man: 'Daniel seriously ill. Will you and Adeline come Monday?' Daniel, who is a brother of Harry, Adeline and Haydn, will die on Wednesday 30th.


November 28th, 1929
Haydn Wood writes to the BBC and reminds them that some months ago, at their request, he forwarded the score of his piano concerto with a view to its inclusion in one of their programme. He informs them that Miss Auriol Jones, who has already performed the concerto at the Proms, is prepared to play it for the BBC should they decide to do it. Members of the BBC Music Department cannot find trace of the score.They will eventually return it to Wood on January 13th, 1930, saying that they like his piano concerto but they cannot for some time find a place for it.


November 30th, 1908
Haydn Wood starts a career in the variety halls with Madame Albani. This is their first day at the Grand Theatre in Blackpool, U.K. She sings finely-rendered arias from Italian operas and well-known songs and ballads. Wood gives violin obbligatos to some of her selections and he delights the audience with some skilful violin solos. They are accompanied by Victor Marmont at the piano. Any musician of classical training who plays on the variety stage incurs a stigma in the eyes of concert goers. So Wood bills himself as Herr Zakovsky, a character of his own invention.

[January] [February] [March] [April] [May] [June] [July] [August] [September] [October] [November] [December]

December 1st, 1898
Haydn Wood with Tom Morris, Sybil Maturin and Edward Mason, all pupils of the Royal College of Music, play a quartet for strings in B flat by Mozart. A critic from the Musical Times will write: 'Little Haydn Wood distinguished himself greatly as leader by his firm bowing, perfect intonation, rhythmical accuracy, and by his alertness generally. He is a wonderful little fellow.'


December 2nd, 1917
Today Sunday, Haydn Wood and Dorothy visit Haydn's brother Daniel in Cricklewood, London. Haydn has a great time with his nephew Gilbert, and Daniel describes the two of them as 'a big baby and a little baby!'


December 3rd, 1939
Checking on his broadcasting fees, Haydn Wood asks the BBC if his compositions which were advertised in the Radio Times early this year (January 9th, February 10th, April 18th) were actually broadcast. The BBC will answer that, owing to the illness of the contracted artist, the first item had not been broadcast, and that 'they have no evidence to show that the other two were not played.'


December 4th, 1943
Haydn Wood mails to the Performing Right Society his contribution to the autograph book with which the PRS Board of Directors will pay tribute to Sir Henry Wood on his seventy-fifth birthday next year. In his dedication, he writes down six bars of his piano concerto to show his appreciation of a performance of this work under Sir Henry's direction, at a Promenade Concert on August 26th, 1915.


December 5th, 1937
Haydn Wood takes part in the second Green Room Rag of the season, which is organised by the Green Room Rag Society, at the the Gaiety Theatre, London. The proceeds will go to the Green Room Club Fund. Wood conducts the orchestra in an evocation of his songs titled Memories of Songs. Parry Jones and Raymond Newell are the vocalists.


December 8th, 1945
Haydn Wood writes to Mr. Walter at the Performing Right Society to let him know that he will not attend the next PRS Board of Directors meeting because he has promised to play at a chamber music concert in North Devon the evening before, and he cannot disappoint the organisers. He states: 'Re the relative values of music in films and music in musical halls, which is on the agenda, I should certainly say, without having any knowledge of the receipts or attendances at these places on which to base my opinion, that the license fees should be higher for cinemas.'


December 9th, 1953
Haydn Wood accepts to join the BBC newly appointed Light Music Score Reading Panel, though he is very loath to turn other composer's work down.


December 10th, 1949
Haydn Wood lends his friend Herbert Geoffrey Henman £2,500 to help him to buy a house in Sussex. Geoffrey Henman is a composer whose works Wood orchestrated in the 1930s.


December 11th, 1938
Haydn Wood suggests to the BBC that he conduct the first broadcast of his new suite East of Suez which is being published in the New Year. With this in mind he submits an hour's programme of his music for their approval. He has chosen some of his least played works, including King Orry which is being published next month. He would be glad to know if a broadcast can be arranged early in the New Year. A 50 minute broadcast will actually took place on February 9th, 1939, with Wood conducting the BBC Orchestra in the overture Life and Love, the rhapsody King Orry, the suite East of Suez and Variations on a Once Popular Song.


December 13th, 1902
At the conclusion of the Christmas term at the Royal College of Music, the annual amount bequested by the late Edwin S. Dove (£13) for pupils who distinguished themselves is awarded jointly to violinists Haydn Wood and Thomas F. Morris.


December 16th, 1932
Haydn Wood replies to Kenneth Wright at the BBC Music Department just after receiving bad news from him: 'It is more than a "little disappointing" to hear that there are two or three other violin concertos to be considered before mine, especially in view of the fact that a date for performance of my work was offered by the BBC about a year last August, if my memory serves … I hope I won't be an old man with a white beard down to my knees before I hear a broadcast of my concerto.' Wood's violin concerto in A minor will finally have its first performance on March 1st, 1933, with violinist Antonio Brosa and Joseph Lewis conducting the BBC Orchestra.


December 17th, 1953
Haydn Wood accepts an invitation to write a work for the BBC Light Programme Music Festival of 1954. He has an idea for a gipsy rhapsody. He will submit the work on February 2nd, 1954. Gipsy Rhapsody will be approved and first performed at the Festival on June 26th, with Rae Jenkins conducting the London Light Concert Orchestra.


December 18th, 1914
Haydn Wood is admitted as a composer member of the Performing Right Society Limited.


December 21st, 1952
Richard Dimbleby interviews Haydn Wood for approximately three minutes in his BBC radio series "Down Your Way", and Wood plays the piano for about thirty seconds. Wood's The Horse Guards, Whitehall (1945) has been the signature tune of "Down Your Way" since its inception on December 29th, 1946.


December 22nd, 1886
Haydn Wood's father Clement dies at age 53, in Douglas, Isle of Man. Haydn is four years old. Clement and his wife Sabra along with Haydn and older siblings, had relocated to Douglas fifteen months before, upon Clement's retirement as licenced victualler of the Lewisham Hotel in Slaithwaite, Yorkshire. Clement was himself a fine amateur musician. Years later, Haydn set Isaac Watts's hymn My Saviour, My Almighty Friend to music, and titled it Clement.


December 24th, 1934
The Royal Society of Musicians of Great Britain hold its annual luncheon on Christmas Eve at Paganini's Restaurant in London. Haydn Wood is among the guests who contribute in this way to the Society assisting musicians in need.


December 25th, 1944
Haydn Wood writes to Stanford Robinson, BBC Director of Music Productions, to tell him how pleased he is to have heard Herbert Ferrers's Waits Music this morning. 'It is a capital little work … I think it should find a permanent place in Xmas programmes.' Herbert Ferrers is a blind composer whom Wood likes to help by orchestrating his compositions, promoting his music and writing letters to musical organisations reminding them of Ferrers's financial needs.


December 27th, 1897
Grand Concert of Manx National Music at the Pavilion, Douglas, Isle of Man. Haydn's brother Harry Wood conducts the orchestra. Master Haydn Wood sits in the last desk of the first violins section. But he plays a violin solo Air Varié in D by Vieuxtemps.


December 28th, 1935
Haydn Wood sends a catalogue of his compositions to Stanford Robinson at the BBC.


December 31st, 1923
Suzanne is premiered at the Palace, Plymouth, Devon.

[January] [February] [March] [April] [May] [June] [July] [August] [September] [October] [November] [December]

Home A short biography Available sheet music Roses of Picardy: the real story
About us Days in the life of Haydn Wood The recorded works The lyrics of Roses of Picardy
Contact us Haydn Wood and Slaithwaite Live performances Roses of Picardy printed music
  Haydn Wood and the Isle of Man   The performers of Roses of Picardy
The Haydn Wood Music Shop Haydn Wood, symphonist   A discography of Roses of Picardy
Our CD A Breezy Ballad Haydn Wood and films   Roses of Picardy in films
Our lectures Haydn Wood 2009   Roses of Picardy: a research in progress

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