Derek Bell Collection

Belfast-born Derek Bell (1935–2002) was a harpist, oboist, dulcimer player, pianist and composer, best known as a member of the six Grammy Award-winning ensemble, The Chieftains. He also worked with the BBC Northern Ireland Orchestra, the City of Belfast Orchestra and the Belfast Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and appeared with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Budapest Symphony Orchestra, Moscow Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He recorded over thirty albums with The Chieftains, eight solo albums of both classical and traditional music, and composed orchestral, chamber and solo music including two symphonies, works for harp and orchestra and three piano sonatas.

The collection, donated to the DIT Conservatory of Music & Drama in 2015, comprises 40 linear metres of books, scores, vinyl, reels, tapes, manuscripts and correspondence. It provides insight into Bell’s wide-ranging interests across the spectrum of music traditions including: music for oboe, piano, harp (Irish and classical) and cimbalom; a considerable emphasis on the virtuoso composer/performer piano repertoire of the nineteenth century (Chopin, Liszt); the music of Bulgaria and Hungary; the music of Bach; jazz (both books and vinyl). Of particular interest are the large-format manuscript originals and copies, including sets of parts for Bell's original compositions.

This collection is unavailable for research while it is being processed.

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