Fonds GB 0210 MERBUR - Mervyn Burtch Music Manuscripts

Identity area

Reference code



Mervyn Burtch Music Manuscripts


  • 1958-2014. (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.66 m3 (27 boxes)

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Mervyn Burtch (1929-2015) was born in Ystrad Mynach, in the Rhymney Valley in the County Borough of Caerphilly, formerly the county of Glamorgan, Wales. His works encompassed a wide rage of genres including operas, concertos, string quartets, works for brass bands, choral work, together with compositions for community groups. During a period spanning some sixty years he produced and arranged some 650 works, a significant proportion of which were written for amateur performers and children.

Mervyn Burtch attended the Lewis Grammar School at Pengam where he was taught music by David Wynne (1900-1983), one of Wales's most significant composers. He studied at the University College Cardiff, and in due course he would take over the position of Head of Music at Lewis School for Girls. In 1979 he joining the staff at the Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff (now known as the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama). He was made a Fellow of the College following his retirement in 1989, and awarded the M.B.E in 2003.
As Director of the Welsh College of Music and Drama Schools’ Opera Programme, he produced such works as The Pied Piper, Alice in Wonderland (1997), The Dragon of Abercwmgoch (1984), Percy the Martian(1988) and the Coca Cola Well (1992).
Some of his most significant works were his Concertos and the cycle of seventeen string quartets which he composed during the period 1985 and 2013.
He married his wife Rita Jones when he was 74.
Following a long illness, on 12 May 2015, Mervyn Burtch died aged of 85. His Funeral service and committal was held at Thornhill Crematorium, Cardiff on May 27. The Mervyn Burtch Trust was created with the sole purpose of Educating and promotion of the appreciation of the public in the music of Mervyn Burtch and the education of the public in the life of Mervyn Burtch.
His manuscript scores were transferred to the Welsh Music Archive at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth in 2019. Many of the instrumental parts scores (manuscript and copies) are held at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff.

Archival history

Musical compositions of Mervyn Burtch, arranged by the composer with the assistance of Mike McCartney, Peter Reynolds, Keith Griffin and others, when the archive was at his home in Ystrad Mynach.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Donated to the Library by his widow Rita Burtch in association with the Mervyn Burtch Trust, November 2019.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Music manuscripts of the composer Mervyn Burtch. Original opus numbering (where known) is given in square brackets, e.g. [M.103] at the end of each file level description.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

All items have been retained.


Accruals are possible.

System of arrangement

An arrangement based on the original order at the time of deposit, following a similar structure found on the composers website (2020).
A folder of miscellaneous unidentified fragments M/1, has been created by the Archivist at the end of the collection (in Box 26).

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

Amodau hawlfraint arferol = Usual copyright laws apply.
The Mervyn Burtch Trust holds the copyright on all of Mervyn Burtch's unpublished works, and they welcome enquiries from publishers, recording companies and performers who would like to present any of Mervyn's music.

Language of material

  • English
  • Latin
  • Welsh

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

Many of the original or copies of instrumental parts have been placed in the Library of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama Cardiff.

Related descriptions

Notes area


Original opus numbering has been included in the file description for reference where known. Some of this numbering has been duplicated and others are not known.

Alternative identifier(s)

Alma system control number


Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Created 2019-2021.




Archivist's note

Compiled by Robert Evans.

Accession area