Sir Henry Wood Collection

Sir Henry Wood FRAM (1869-1944) studied composition at the Academy from 1886 with Ebenezer Prout and voice with the great pedagogue Manuel Garcia. He became established as a conductor in the 1890s and throughout his career showed a particular concern to introduce contemporary music into his programmes. He conducted the British premières of music by such composers as Debussy, Ravel, Schönberg, Shostakovich and Sibelius as well as advocating the work of English composers, including Bax and Britten. He taught at the Academy from 1923.

Held within our collections are the famous bust by Donald Gilbert which is displayed each year near the organ at the Royal Albert Hall during the BBC Proms season; photographs, caricatures, many of his own paintings in oils, some musical instruments, batons, tuning devices, his book-press and a conducting chair; and digitised pages of, for instance, his ‘Fantasia on British Sea Songs’.

Sir Henry Wood Iconography Guides

A selection of PDF documents detailing some of the objects from the Henry Wood Collection.

(Please note that these documents are in PDF format and may take a few minutes to download depending on the speed of your internet connection)

Sir Henry Wood: Early Career

Sir Henry Wood: Instruments

Sir Henry Wood: The Queen’s Hall

Sir Henry Wood: Conducting

Sir Henry Wood: Handel & Crystal Palace

Sir Henry Wood: The Proms & the ‘Last Night’

Sir Henry Wood: himself

Sir Henry Wood: Tuning up

Sir Henry Wood: Performers & Composers

Sir Henry Wood remembered

Sir Henry Wood and the Academy


The Henry Wood project

Read more about the Henry Wood project completed at the Academy and ‘All Hands on Deck’, a Key Stage 2 teaching resource for primary schools, inspired by Sir Henry Wood’s most famous piece, the Fantasia on British Sea Songs.