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University of Edinburgh. Reid Chair of Music



In 1806, a Chair in Music was created. General John Reid had made a 'generous' provision in his will for a 'Professorship of Music in the College and University of Edinburgh'. However, it was not until 1839 that John Thomson was appointed as the Reid Professor of Music. This meant that Edinburgh was the first British university (after Oxford and Cambridge) to have a permanent Chair in the subject.

Thomson died shortly after taking up the post and was succeeeded by Henry Rowley Bishop. Next came John Donaldson (1789-1865) and it was on Donaldson's watch that major development of the subject area began to take place, including, in 1860, the Reid School of Music in Teviot Place, built as a classroom and concert hall. Donaldson was succeeded by Sir Herbert Stanley Oakeley (1830-1903) in 1865. In 1891, Frederick Niecks (1845-1924) was appointed to succeed Oakeley.

In 1891, new Ordinances provided for 'Regulations for Degrees in Music. In 1894, this was approved by Parliament and the Faculty of Music now exisited in its own right. Previously Music came under the aegis of the Faculty of Arts.

Niecks was succeeded, in 1914, by Sir Donald Francis Tovey (1875-1940). Tovey founded the Reid Orchestra. Thereafter followed Sidney Newman in 1941, Kenneth Leighton (1929-1988) in 1970 and Nigel Osborne in 1989.