Mysterious manuscripts discovered in Tauranga filing cabinet turns out to be lost work of world famous composer

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Two manuscripts of music by world famous English composer Gustav Holst have been discovered in a library in Tauranga.

Manuscript BOP Gustav Holst

Manuscript BOP Gustav Holst

Source: 1 NEWS

The manuscripts date from 1906 and are handwritten and signed by Holst himself but have been found 20,000km away from where they originated.

Manuscript POB Gustav Holst

Manuscript POB Gustav Holst

Source: 1 NEWS

The Music Director of Bay of Plenty Symphonia, Justus Rozemond, remembers the initial discovery.

"Our librarian, Gloria Pheasant, and I were cleaning up the sheet music library a few years ago," she says in a statement.

"We were throwing away tons of old photocopies and found these hand-written scores. We didn't really believe we were holding genuine Holst manuscripts, but there was just enough of a tingle of excitement not to throw them away."

The manuscripts were then safely tucked away and the investigation into how they got there and if they were real began.

Manuscript BOP Gustav Holst

Manuscript BOP Gustav Holst

Source: 1 NEWS

At first the connection was a mystery, the manuscripts contained a script called Folk songs from Somerset, a county in the South West of England, that have never been heard before.

The Bay of Plenty Symphonia contacted the Holst Archive in England and received a reply to confirm the manuscripts are the real deal.

Justus Rozemund and Gloria Pheasant think the most likely connection is through a flute player from England called Stanley Farnsworth who conducted an early version of the Bay of Plenty Symphonia in the 1960s.

It's still a mystery how they got from the hands of Farnsworth to the filing cabinets of Tauranga.

What the Symphonia will do with the manuscripts is not yet decided.

Justus Rozemund says: "We know they are special, but we also appreciate that their proper home is probably back in the UK where they will be more accessible to Holst researchers".

Regardless of what happens, Bay of Plenty Symphonia will perform the music in Tauranga.


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