Sir Hugh Allen


Object name
painter (artist): Taylor, Leonard Campbell
Object number
Commissioned by the RCM Council, 1939.


Director of the Royal College of Music from 1919 to 1937, Sir Hugh Percy Allen (1869–1946) was responsible for significant expansion and development of the College after the First World War. Trained as an organist, he was a scholar at Christ’s College, Cambridge and subsequently took up the position of organist at New College, Oxford. A highly energetic musician and educator, he was largely responsible for the eventual establishment of a permanent Music Faculty at Oxford – a process that took several decades and only came to fruition in 1947, the year after his death. From 1918 to 1919, the College population increased from just 215 students to 600, and Allen appointed 26 new professors during his first year, including Vaughan Williams, Holst, Howells and Boult. He also revived the Patron’s Fund Concerts, awarding the College’s first honorary FRCM to their founder, Sir Ernest Palmer.

Leonard Campbell Taylor (1874–1969) studied in Oxford and London before being catapulted to fame in 1907 with The Rehearsal, a depiction of a piano quintet rehearsing at home which was the Royal Academy’s “Picture of the Year”. A painter of subject pictures (such as The Rehearsal) and portraits, he exhibited in London and Paris, cultivating a detailed and highly traditional style that was both highly popular and commercially successful.


690 x 565mm

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