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Here is a selection of pictures from Fifty Festivals: the history of the Bath Festival by Tim Bullamore. Click on a thumbnail to see the full image. Please note that the images are copyright and should not be used without permission.

1948.jpg (14899 bytes) The brochure for the first Bath Assembly held from April 21 to May 1, 1948 (kindly lent by Glyndebourne Festival Opera).
monty.jpg (8122 bytes) Morley Pooley - otherwise known as Monty or AMP - began covering the Bath Festival for The Bath Chronicle in 1949. He retired from the paper's staff as news editor in 1969, but continued to contribute his musical columns until 1983. He died in 1994. Without his enormous output, enthusiasm for music and words, and erudite opinions, this book would have been both thinner and poorer. Thank you Monty.
ymkids.jpg (12173 bytes) A rare informal picture of Yehudi Menuhin with his children, taken at the Bath May Festival in 1955.
ymvita.jpg (13397 bytes) Yehudi Menuhin in discussion with Gioconda de Vita. The pair gave a duo recital at the Guildhall in 1955.
princess.jpg (15952 bytes) Princess Margaret visited the festival in 1962 with her husband Viscount Snowdon. During her visit she took part in `La Serenissima'.
seren.jpg (18910 bytes) `La Serenissima', a Venetian carnival, was the social highlight of the 1962 festival and attracted support from the city of Venice. Depicted is work in progress on the superstructure of one of the barges. Barbara Robertson, the brains behind the party and who visited Venice to undertake research for the event, is second from left.
ymmfrn.jpg (11819 bytes) Yehudi Menuhin, Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev on the stage of the Theatre Royal on June 9, 1964, after a specially choreographed performance of Bartok's Divertimento. Hours earlier Fonteyn had heard of her husband's critical condition after an assassination attempt in Panama, but insisted that the show must go on.
ymrnmf.jpg (9945 bytes) Fonteyn and Nureyev dancing, with Menuhin playing in the wings.
1965.jpg (19606 bytes) A special dais containing a festival flame was built for the 1965 festival. In the background, trumpeters serenade the formal opening.
agin.jpg (18456 bytes) Captain Freddie and Mrs Ruth Hayden in full dress for the `Battle of Agincourt', the social highlight of the 1965 festival. Throughout the sixties, costume parties, often continuing until dawn, attracted hundreds of people and raised large sums to support the festival. (Reprinted by kind permission of Mrs Ruth Hayden)
ymshank.jpg (13206 bytes) Yehudi Menuhin, Ravi Shankar and Alla Rakha rehearsing at the Lansdown Grove Hotel in 1966. It was the first time that a western violinist had appeared on stage with Indian musicians, and Menuhin performed in the lotus (crossed-leg) position.
ymharp.jpg (15788 bytes) Above: Yehudi Menuhin rehearsing the Bath Festival Orchestra with the harpist Marisa Robles at the Assembly Rooms in 1967.
dank.jpg (10502 bytes) In the eyes of many Johnny Dankworth was as important to the festivals of the sixties as Menuhin. Although a mainstay of the festival programme for many years, jazz gradually slipped in profile and did not return until the 1980s.
rendezvs.jpg (13278 bytes) The annual Roman Rendezvous was the only time in the year when residents could swim in the city's historic baths. It originated from the 1961 `Roman Orgy' which was denounced by Yehudi Menuhin as being `at odds' with his view of how the festival should be.
mtlindsy.jpg (8531 bytes) Sir Michael Tippett introduced many younger artists to the Bath Festival. In this picture he is talking with Bernard Gregor-Smith and Peter Cropper of the Lindsay Quartet in 1971.
mtrehers.jpg (10587 bytes) Sir Michael Tippett rehearses soloists Pamela Bowden, Clifford Grant and Ronald Dowd at the Guildhall in preparation for a memorable performance of the composer's oratorio A Child of Our Time at Wells Cathedral in 1968. The following year Tippett became joint artistic director before becoming sole director in 1970.
mt1974.jpg (9293 bytes) Sir Michael Tippett with the programme for the 1974 festival, the last of five programmed solely by the composer who lived near Corsham, Wilts. He remains the only artistic director to have left entirely voluntarily.
mtcond.jpg (5217 bytes) Sir Michael Tippett rarely conducted at the Bath Festival, but when he did his performances were inspiring. (Reprinted by kind permission of B&NES Record Office.)
glock.jpg (5979 bytes) Sir William Glock was artistic director of the Bath Festival for ten festivals from 1975 - 1984 during which time the present length - two weeks and three weekends - was established.
mann.jpg (7625 bytes) William Mann, festival director in 1985. He was ousted before his first festival had taken place.
freed.jpg (14829 bytes) Amelia Freedman, founder of the Nash Enemble, who were regular visitors to the festival under Sir William Glock's regime. She became artistic director in 1986 and now directs the Mozartfest.
angel.jpg (10852 bytes) The Burning Angel was intended as an exciting work of art on opening night in 1995, but there was controversy when some Christian groups accused the festival of blasphemy. The "fire sculpture" went ahead, although it caused a scare when the burning head toppled to the ground and stopped just short of the crowds of spectators. (Photo courtesy of Bath Festivals Trust)

Last updated: 27 October 1999
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