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Postcard after a photograph by Dover Street Studios, London, c.1910.

Sir Thomas BEECHAM (1879-1961)

March 2011

(b. St. Helens, 29 April 1879; d. London, 8 March 1961)

The Museum owns a small but important archive relating to this great British conductor, who died 50 years ago this month. Shown below is the very rare programme of his first London concert, given at the Steinway Hall on 14 July 1903. Josef Claus was a German baritone and singing teacher, through whom Beecham had been engaged as assistant conductor for a two-month tour by the short-lived Imperial Grand Opera Company in 1902. Herr Claus’s colleagues in the present programme range from the distinguished soprano Marie Duma and contralto Belle Cole to pupils whose lessons Beecham had accompanied.