Richard H. Walthew

Richard Henry Walthew, also known as Richard H. Walthew (4 November 1872 – 14 November 1951) was an English composer and pianist.

Richard Henry Walthew was born in Islington in Middlesex, the only son of Richard Frederick Walthew and his wife, Emily the daughter of Charles Jeffreys Esq. He was a pupil of Hubert Parry for four years at the Royal College of Music (1890–1894). He taught the opera class at the Guildhall School of Music and from 1907 was Professor of Music at The Queen's College, Oxford.

Walthew had a natural affinity for chamber music and a long association with the South Place Sunday Concert series for which he wrote programme notes. He conducted the orchestra there and it was also where much of his chamber music was played. He also gave a series of lectures on the history and development of chamber music there; these lectures were published by Boosey and Co. in 1909. He played at many of these concerts as did his son, the clarinettist Richard Sidney Walthew. In the article on Walthew in Cobbett's Cyclopaedic Survey of Chamber Music (1929), Thomas Dunhill recorded his admiration for the refined, lyrical and unostentatious style of Walthew's writing, the suitability of his compositions for amateur performance, his special aptitude for writing for the piano and his energetic devotion to chamber music.

Walthew's early works were larger scale choral and orchestral pieces such as the Clarinet and Piano Concertos and the Aladdin overture (1899), but it was with chamber music that he made the greatest impression. His String Quartet in E major, his Mosaic in Ten Pieces for clarinet and piano, and his Trio in C minor for clarinet, violin and piano were all played at a South Place concert on Sunday 25 November 1900.. The Mosaic pieces were later taken up by Lionel Tertis, swapping clarinet for viola, and in 1943 Walthew provided an orchestrated version for Tertis, intended for (but in the end not played at) the 1943 Proms. (This version was recorded by Dutton Epoch in 2016.) His most successful chamber work was the Phantasy Quintet for piano, violin, viola, cello and double bass, commissioned by the Worshipful Company of Musicians, dedicated to Walter Cobbett and published by Stainer and Bell in 1912. This was later revived by the composer at the marathon one thousandth South Place Sunday Concert in February 1927. Among his educational piano works, the short piece "Sun and Shade" was chosen as one of ten test pieces for the Daily Express national piano playing competition in 1928, and recorded as a demonstration by William Murdoch. The Prelude and Fugue (1945), originally written for strings, later transcribed for two clarinets and bassoon, has been reissued in recent times and recorded by The Trio Pleyel.

Walthew died, aged 79, in East Preston, West Sussex.

Birth and Death Data: Born January 1st, 1872, Died January 1st, 1951

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1903 - 1914

Roles Represented in DAHR: composer


Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-620 10-in. 11/2/1903 May Day Louise Homer Contralto vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor C-11311 12-in. 11/27/1911 Trot here and there Emma Eames ; Emilio de Gogorza Vocal duet (soprano and baritone), with piano composer  
Victor B-12246 10-in. 7/29/1912 May Day Elizabeth Wheeler Female vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor [Trial 1914-02-05-01] Not documented 2/5/1914 It was a lover and his lass Mr. and Mrs. Why Female-male vocal duet composer  
Columbia 6404 12-in. approximately 1914 Gleaner's slumber song Carrie Herwin Female vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 28721 10-in. between 1912 and 1914 It was a lover and his lass George Baker ; Carrie Herwin Female-male vocal duet, with orchestra composer  


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Walthew, Richard H.," accessed October 28, 2021,

Walthew, Richard H.. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 28, 2021, from

"Walthew, Richard H.." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 28 October 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier



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