One of the leading conductors of his time, Sir Adrian Boult (1889–1983) was a constant champion of British composers and gave first performances of many important works. He was particularly admired for his live and recorded interpretations of Vaughan Williams. In 1930 he was asked by the BBC to found a new orchestra: the result was the BBC Symphony Orchestra, which quickly impressed visiting conductors such as Arturo Toscanini and Bruno Walter and remains one of the country's leading ensembles. During his career Boult also held positions at Covent Garden, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and London Philharmonic Orchestra, as well teaching here at the RCM (1919–30; 1962–6). He was known not only for his precise and sensitive baton technique but also for his humble nature and kindness and generosity towards fellow musicians.
William Narraway (1917–1979), portrait artist and sculptor, was a member of the New English Art Club and Paris Salon Gold Medallist. His works include a portrait of Princess Anne, and two of the Queen, commissioned by the Royal Engineers. His portrait of Sir Adrian Boult was 'the culmination of a large number of studies and drawings done… sitting amongst his various orchestras at rehearsals and performances.' The purchase of the portrait was made possible by a fundraising appeal shortly before Boult's ninetieth birthday.
152.5 x 111.5 cm