Fonds GB 0210 JOCALF - John Metcalf (Composer) Papers,

Identity area

Reference code



John Metcalf (Composer) Papers,


  • 1948-2016. (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

5 boxes.

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

John Metcalf was born in Swansea, Wales in 1946. He holds joint UK/Canadian citizenship. He is best known as a composer of chamber and orchestral music.
His notoriety grew both nationally and internationally with a series of orchestral and chamber works during the 1990s. These include Paradise Haunts, Dances from Forgotten Places and Mapping Wales, Paradise Haunts, Dances from Forgotten Places and Mapping Wales. His composing career also includes several operas, including Kafka’s Chimp (1996); A Chair in Love (2005) and Under Milk Wood (2014).He also received commissions from the Welsh National Opera and the English Symphony Orchestra.
John Metcalf held positions as Associate Artistic Director of Music Theatre at the Banff Centre, Banff, Alberta, Canada, from September - December 1986, and then Artistic Director until 1990, Artistic Director of the Swansea Festival from 1996 – 2007, and Artistic Director of the Vale of Glamorgan Festival. He also led creative music projects in schools throughout Wales.
He is an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre, an Honorary Fellow of the University of Wales, Lampeter, of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and of the University College Cardiff. He was a recipient of the John Edwards Memorial Award awarded by the Guild for the Promotion of Welsh Music for his services to music in Wales (1995).
In 1999 his music was played during the signing, by Her Majesty the Queen, of the Act bringing into being Wales’ first elected Assembly for 500 years. In Her Majesty’s 2012 New Years Honours List he was awarded an MBE for services to music.

Archival history

Papers collated and arranged by the creator at his home near Lampeter, Ceredigion, prior to their transfer to the National Library of Wales.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

John Metcalf, Lampeter, February 2017.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Papers of the Welsh-Canadian composer John Metcalf (1946- ) of Llanfair Clydogau, Ceredigion. The collection includes pencil scores of compositions, papers relating to the Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada, a set of programmes for the Swansea Festival of Music and the Arts (1968 onward), and audio-visual materials.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

All records have been retained except for duplicates which have been removed. Four VHS tapes and 8mm audio reel were transferred to the National Screen and Sound Archive.


Accruals are expected.

System of arrangement

The fonds has been arranged as two groups, Music compositions and Ephemera by the archivist. The music compositions follow the arrangement of the creator/depositor.

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.

Conditions governing reproduction

Usual copyright laws apply.

Language of material

  • English
  • Welsh

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Catalogue available online.

Generated finding aid

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Peter Reynolds Papers: B4/1/10. John Metcalf (1946- ), 1990-2014.
NLW ex 2314: Castell Dolbadarn music score, 2004.

Related descriptions

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Alma system control number


Access points

Place access points

Name 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




Accession area