Fonds GB 0210 MSDENAP - Denis ApIvor manuscripts,

Identity area

Reference code



Denis ApIvor manuscripts,


  • 1935-1995 / (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

29 volumes. See individual files.

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Denis ApIvor, composer, was born in 1916 in the Republic of Ireland, where he was brought up until his family moved to Wales in 1921. In 1925 ApIvor left the family home in Caernarfon to become a chorister at Christ Church, Oxford where, by the age of ten, he was already showing compositions to his music master Henry Ley. He later transferred to Hereford Cathedral, where his father was by now chaplain. At Hereford ApIvor learnt the clarinet, piano and organ and played in local orchestras while also continuing to compose. It was as a medical student, however, that ApIvor entered University College, London in 1934; however, with the help of Cecil Gray, who had written a biography of the composer Peter Warlock, ApIvor became the pupil of the composer and Cambridge University professor Patrick Hadley. He would later work with Alan Rawsthorne, who was to become an important figure in the contemporary music of the 1930s. ApIvor fulfilled his war service at hospitals in India, all the while continuing to compose music. He returned to London in 1945; in 1987, he took up residence near Llanidloes. Amongst ApIvor's most noted works are the operas She Stoops To Conquer, Yerma, Ubu Roi and Bouvard et Pécuchet and his ballets A Mirror For Witches and Blood Wedding, the latter based on the work of Federico García Lorca, for whose poetical works ApIvor showed great enthusiasm. He also produced numerous solo and choral works, chamber music and songs and numbered Igor Stravinsky, Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg and Anton Webern amongst his greatest influences.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

NLW MSS 22648-22665; Denis ApIvor; Llanidloes; Purchase; 1989

NLW MSS 22882-22886; Denis ApIvor; Saltdean, East Sussex; Purchase; 1991

NLW MSS 23465-23470; Denis ApIvor; Saltdean, East Sussex; Purchase; 1995

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Music manuscripts, 1935-1995, of Denis ApIvor, including those of his operas She Stoops To Conquer, Yerma, Ubu Roi and Bouvard et Pécuchet, as well as solo and choral works (including The Hollow Men), songs, concertos, chamber music, etc.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Arranged according to NLW MSS reference numbers: NLW MSS 22648-22665, 22882-22886, 23465-23470.

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 noted on the 'Modern papers - data protection' form issued with their readers' tickets.

Conditions governing reproduction

Usual copyright laws apply.

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes


Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

See also NLW Facs. 775, which contains a typescript catalogue of the composer's works.

Related descriptions

Notes area


Title based on contents.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


GEAC system control number


Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

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 2009.


  • English



Archivist's note

Description compiled by Bethan Ifans for the retrospective conversion project of NLW MSS. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales, Vol. VIII (Aberystwyth, 1999); Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales, Volume IX (Aberystwyth, 2003); MusicWeb International WWW site;

Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places

Physical storage

  • Text: NLW MSS 22648-22665.