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Arnold Bax Collection


Arnold Bax (1883–1953)

UCD Library Special Collections holds the Arnold Bax collection of musical manuscripts and proofs.
Identity Statement

Reference code IE/ UCD/SC ms 26/1–6

Arnold Bax Collection.


Level of Description

6 items.


Arnold Bax (1883 – 1953).

Biographical History

  • Arnold Bax, composer and pianist, was born in London.
  • He was very much influenced by W.B. Yeats. It was because of this relationship that Bax became interested in Ireland.
  • He spent much of his early twenties in Glencolumcille, Co. Donegal. He learned Irish and wrote short stories and plays which were influenced by Celtic mythology and Irish tradition and were thematically much like the work of Yeats, AE and Synge.
  • He published these works under the pseudonym Dermot O’Byrne. Bax was a close friend of the writer Padraig Colum and moved in the Dublin literary circles of that period.
  • He was also friendly with many nationalists. His orchestral piece In Memoriam was in memory of Padraig Pearse.
  • Bax’ reputation was built on his orchestral pieces that drew upon Irish themes and also on nature.
  • Musically he was influenced by Wagner, Strauss, Mussorgsky, Glazunov, Debussy, Ravel, Sibelius and Stravinsky.
  • Bax reached the pinnacle of his fame during the 1920s and early 1930s and was at one time regarded as the leading British symphonist.

Source of Acquisition
Donated to UCD by the pianist Harriet Cohen between 1955 and 1961.

Scope and Content

This collection consists of five musical manuscripts and one proof copy. The manuscripts are as follows:

  • UCD ms 26/1 In memoriam (In memory of Patrick Pearse). At the head of ms: I gcuimhne ar bPadraig mac Piarais, holograph (9 August 1916).
  • UCD ms 26/2 St. Patrick’s breastplate, holograph (December 1923).
  • UCD ms 26/3 In memory of certain Irish patriots. A leader (AE), holograph (not dated); ms 26/3a – Postcard to Bax from Padraig Colum [March 1923?].
  • UCD ms 26/4 - Corrected proofs of This worldes joie, holograph corrections (February 1923).
  • UCD ms 26/5 Phantasy for viola and orchestra (orchestral score), bound (not dated).
  • UCD ms 26/6 Four orchestral pieces, bound (not dated).
Access and Use

Photocopying of archival collections is not permitted. Photography permissions and policies vary. Please contact (opens in a new window)special.collections@ucd.ie for more details regarding the photography of this specific collection.


Finding Aid

More Information

Find Information on Arnold Bax in the (opens in a new window)Dictionary of Irish Biography (UCD only).

Find Information on Arnold Bax in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (UCD only).

UCD Special Collections

James Joyce Library, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 7149 | E: special.collections@ucd.ie