The Composer, Sir Alexander Campbell Mackenzie (1847 - 1935), shown right, was born in Edinburgh. His musical education was at the Royal Academy of Music under a King's Scholarship. By 1887 he had become the Principal of the RAM - a position he held for 36 years.
He was knighted in 1895 and awarded KCVO in 1922. He was awarded the Honorary Freedom of the Musicians' Company in 1908.
At a Court meeting on 24th April 1906, it was reported that Mr William Henry Ash (a Liveryman of the Company) had offered an amount of money for the production of several pieces of work - one of which being a Patriotic Marching Song (his preference being that it be composed by Sir Edward Elgar). Ash had also asked that his funds went toward the composition of a piece for Violin with String accompaniment.
A Committee was established to discuss how best each of these suggestions could be brought to fruition. That Committee was eventually successful in convincing Elgar to produce the desired Marching Song (Click Here for more information and to see Elgar's Manuscript Score, still held by the Company).
By the July of that year, it was noted at the Court that Mr Ash had now commissioned the Violin plus Orchestra work to be undertaken by Sir Alexander Mackenzie (Principal of the RAM). The work was completed by October 1906 and the manuscript of a piano reduction was signed and dedicated to the Company by the Composer. The Company still holds this document and the cover, frontispiece, first page and last page of the score are presented below. However, it is interesting to note there is a dated signature on the final page, which is not Mackenzie's. Click on an image to expand:
At a Court meeting on 25th October 1910 it was reported that the long awaited Manuscript Score of Mackenzie's Suite for Violin and Orchestra, Op.68 had finally been received (it had been a condition of the original Commission that this would happen). The frontispiece of the score (shown below left) was signed by Mackenzie, dated as July 1910 and was again dedicated to the Company.
The Bound Cover of that Manuscript (near left) bears the spine title of Celtic Legend - this is just the title of the first movement of this 4 movement suite. The others being; Scherzo Capriccioso; Ritornello; and Alla Zingara.
The full score of this composition is presented below. Click on an image to expand and scroll through, click on Go to link to expand that page further.
William Henry Ash (1844-1925) joined the Musicians' Company in 1903. He was appointed President of the Livery Club in 1908 and was presented with the Company's Gold Medal in 1914 for his involvement in establishing the Benevolent Fund. In 1917 he joined the Court and served as Senior Warden during 1921-1922 but was unable to accept the Mastership due to ill-health, eventually passing away in 1925.