Fonds GB 0210 ALHODD - The Alun Hoddinott Archive,

Identity area

Reference code



The Alun Hoddinott Archive,


  • 1933-2013 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

188 boxes, varying sizes.

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Alun Hoddinott, the eminent Welsh composer and teacher, was born at Bargoed, 11 August 1929. He received his secondary education at Gowerton Grammar School where, in 1946, he won a scholarship to study at the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire, Cardiff. He graduated (BMus) in 1949 and during this period he also studied composition with the Australian composer and pianist, Arthur Benjamin, in London.

Lecturing posts in Cardiff - at the Welsh College of Music and Drama, 1951-1959, and the University College, 1959-1965, led to a readership at the University of Wales. He gained a DMus in 1960. In 1967 he was appointed Professor of Music and Head of Department at Cardiff, retiring in 1987 in order to devote himself to composition.

Also in 1967 he co-founded the Cardiff Festival of Twentieth Century Music with the pianist John Ogdon, and was its artistic director until 1989.

In April 1953 he married Rhiannon Huws. They had studied together at Cardiff and she became central to every aspect of his life. She often translated and prepared texts to set to music. Their son, Huw Ceri, was born in 1957.

Alun Hoddinott became established early in his career as being one of the leading British composers of his generation. He achieved his first national success in 1954 when his Clarinet Concerto, op. 3, was given its first public performance at the Cheltenham Festival by Gervase de Peyer and the Hallé Orchestra under Sir John Barbirolli. This brought him a national profile which was followed by a string of commissions by distinguished singers and instrumentalists that continued throughout his life. A prolific composer, his vast and versatile catalogue comprises nearly 300 individual works, including six operas, ten symphonies and over twenty concertos.

He was presented with several honorary awards, professional accolades and prestigious prizes in recognition of his achievements. He was appointed CBE in 1983. In 2009 the BBC National Orchestra of Wales's new home at the Wales Millennium Centre was named the BBC Hoddinott Hall - Neuadd Hoddinott BBC in his honour.

Alun Hoddinott died 11 March 2008.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Professor Emeritus Alun Hoddinott and Mrs Rhiannon Hoddinott; Swansea and Alltwalis; Donation; July 2006-March 2012 (004637146) March 2017; J & J Lubrano Music Antiquarians Syosset, NY, USA; Purchase July 2016. Transfer Ms Laura Gayle Green; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; March 2019; purchase Dominic Winter Auctioneers, September 2022. 99312432402419.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The music manuscripts and papers, 1933-2010, of Alun Hoddinott, comprising a large group of music scores and sketches, [1940?]-2007; and papers, 1933-2010, relating to his life and work, comprising mainly correspondence, 1933-2010, scrapbooks, 1940-2008, concert programmes, 1936-2008, catalogues of works, 1946-2007; and articles and reviews, 1954-2006. Two additional manuscripts: anthem 'In the Beginning' (Opus 23A), and Toccata alla Giga for organ (Opus 37), purchased July 2016 have been incorporated into the main series of music A3 and A5. An additional group received in 2017, of mainly personal papers and correspondence is listed under 'Alun Hoddinott, 2017 (additional)'. A sketchbook of Symphony II Op29 was purchased September 2022.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


Accruals are not expected.

System of arrangement

Arranged at NLW in three groups: music manuscripts; professional and personal papers; Alun Hoddinott 2017 (additional).

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to abide by the conditions set out in information provided when applying for their Readers' Tickets, whereby the reader shall become responsible for compliance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 in relation to any processing by them of personal data obtained from modern records held at the Library. = Disgwylir i ddarllenwyr sydd am ddefnyddio papurau modern yn Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru gydymffurfio â Deddf Warchod Data 2018 a Rheoliadau Diogelu Data Cyffredinol 2018 yng nghyd-destun unrhyw brosesu ganddynt o ddata personol a gasglwyd o gofnodion modern sydd ar gadw yn y Llyfrgell. Nodir y manylion yn yr wybodaeth a roddir wrth wneud cais am Docyn Darllen.

Conditions governing reproduction

Usual copyright regulations apply.

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Mainly English, unless otherwise stated.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

LP records and video cassettes have been transferred to NLW National Sound and Screen Archive of Wales; a small group of published and printed books to NLW printed books collection; photographs to NLW photographic collection (Photo albums 4941-4946); and two sketches of the composer by the artist Andrew Vicari to NLW picture collection (Accession nos 6221680 and 6221682). See also lower level descriptions for related material.

Notes area


Title supplied from contents of fonds.


Two additional manuscripts: anthem 'In the Beginning' (Opus 23A), and Toccata alla Giga for organ (Opus 37), purchased July 2016. Incorporated as A3/13 and A5/61.

Alternative identifier(s)

Alma system control number


Access points

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Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru = The National Library of Wales

Rules and/or conventions used

Description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd ed.; AACR2; and LCSH


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

March 2012, revised December 2019.


  • English



Archivist's note

Compiled by Barbara Davies and Robert Evans. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Geraint Lewis, 'Alun Hoddinott' (obituary in The Guardian, 14 March 2008); The new Grove dictionary of music and musicians (2nd ed., 2001); Lyn Davies, Composers of Wales monographs: Alun Hoddinott (1929-) (Cardiff, 2004); Basil Deane, Alun Hoddinott (Composers of Wales, 2) (Cardiff, 1978); Stewart R. Craggs, Alun Hoddinott: a bio-bibliography (London, 1993); Stewart R. Craggs, Alun Hoddinott: a source book (Aldershot, 2007); and papers in the archive.

Accession area

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  • Text: The Alun Hoddinott Archive.