Yorke Trust Library

When the Trust moved to its Norfolk home it became evident that a library of chamber music and a modest reference library would be an asset.  There were even shelves waiting to be filled!  Since modest beginnings in 2000 there is now more than twice the material than there is space to house it.  A comprehensive catalogue awaits both the manpower and the appetite to tackle what has become quite a daunting task, so for the moment a considerable bulk of periodicals and books remains in boxes, whilst a handsome selection of piano music, songs and chamber music is on open shelves and in regular use during courses.


Repertoire ranges from Purcell to Broadway, with most of the main-stream string quartet, piano trio and piano quartet repertoire well represented.  Donations and bequests are still more than welcome, the library providing a wide selection of interesting books, periodicals and academic papers both for browsing and for more serious study.

In 2000 a generous donation from the late Mrs Barbara Whatmore facilitated the purchase of a great deal of second hand stock and old (but adequate) performing editions of scores and parts of chamber music by Beethoven, Haydn, Schubert, Mozart and much more.  Gaps were filled by ex-library duplicate copies gleaned from the Royal Northern College of Music.


Michael Rose subsequently kindly donated a considerable amount of piano music, together with duplicate copies of books from his extensive personal library.


In July 2003 the late Lady Silvia Combe generously made her collection music for two pianos available to the Trust.  She had played regularly with the late Lady Margaret Douglas-Home at her home, The Manor House, Burnham Thorpe.  Lady Margaret (who served for many years as a Governor of the Royal College of Music) had studied in Paris as a young lady with Alfred Cortot, and both she and Lady Silvia did all they could to ensure that the Trust and its work was brought to the attention of as many interested people in Norfolk as possible. 


Lady Margaret Douglas-Home

Lady Margaret Douglas-Home

Dr George Knox, who had also played with Lady Silvia and Lady Margaret, kindly added to the collection.  The scores are marked with many notes such as 'don't rush', 'watch Margaret', 'slow down', 'count' and other scribbles that add an intriguing perspective to amateur music making in the home between the wars and after, by those of 'a certain age'!


A further collection of music arranged for four hands and two pianos formed part of the library of David McKenna CBE, who from 1961-1972 was Chairman of the Governors of Sadlers Wells and also a Governor of the Royal College of Music.  Some of the volumes belonged to his grandfather, Sir Herbert Jekyll, brother of Gerturde Jekyll, and contain his bookplate.  Others belonged to his daughter Pamela Jekyll, David McKenna’s mother, herself an accomplished pianist, who in the interwar period played much of the music with Sir Hugh Allen, and accompanied the legendary violinists Jelli d’Aranyi and May Harrison.  The collection was presented to the Trust in March 2004 by the executors of the Estate of the late David McKenna CBE and trustees are grateful to John and Miranda Villiers for this gesture.


In November 2004 trustees ascquired the library of the late David MacDonald through the auspices of Michael Rose.  This bequest is rich in books about singing technique, biographies of great singers and general musical reference books.


Gae Stubbings also lodged a considerable quantity of songs with the Trust which have been used over and over again.  In addition to the reference and chamber music library, there is a growing collection of scores and orchestral material from the Trust's choral courses and operas.