After 100 years of being hidden in New Zealand, two Holst music score sheets are being delivered by hand back to the Holst Birthplace Museum, which happens to be located in Cheltenham. It is unclear how the two score sheets, signed by the composer in 1906, ended up in Bay of Plenty’s Symphonia Library in Tauranga some 11,500 miles away, but their discovery has prompted a personal return to Cheltenham.

The two score sheets entitled “Folk Songs From Somerset” and “Two Songs Without Words” have slightly different stories, with the former believed to have never been published, and the latter believed to have been lost. They were both found during a clear out of the archives and staff working there couldn’t believe that they were holding Holst’s secret masterpieces.

One theory as to how the pieces made it to the New Zealand Library is that a Flautist - Stanley Farnsworth – too them with him. Stanley Farnsworth was a conductor of an orchestra who played for Holst, and may even have played an earlier version of the piece before taking the final sheets with him across the world. Luckily the address of the house Holst was living in at the time was written upon the front of one of the score sheets and the library quickly got in touch with the Holst Museum curator, Laura Kinnear, who will be receiving the lost scores and putting them on public display. She told BBC news that “It is extremely rare to find a ‘lost’ work so we are very grateful to the Bay of Plenty Symphonia library for being so diligent enough to clear out their archives. It would have been a tragedy if these scores had been placed within a private collection. The Bay of Plenty and the Holst Museum have the same aim of sharing will known musician works to be fully accessible to the general public”.  

The pieces have been carried to the UK and delivered to Cheltenham by Bronya Dean, Committee Member for the Bay of Plenty Symphonia. 

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Holst Birthplace Museum
Museum
Holst Birthplace Museum

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