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Six trumpets used for performances of Aida and donated by the Royal Opera House to the Musicians Benevolent Fund, which will sell them at a fund- raising auction on Wednesday 25 May. The fund hopes to raise at least pounds 20,000 from the event to boost its work helping needy professional musicians and their dependents.
Already 100 items have been given for auction, including an oil painting by Kathleen Ferrier; a clarinet played by Jack Brymer; a letter from Benjamin Britten to Otto Klemperer, and others written by Maria Callas, Adrian Boult, Arnold Bax, Gustav Charpentier, William Walton and Herbert von Karajan; a manuscript volume of 18th- century solo cantatas; and original music manuscripts of Elizabeth Maconchy, Peter Maxwell Davies, Michael Tippett and Nicholas Maw. The fund is keen to receive further contributions.
The Musicians Benevolent Fund was created in 1921 by friends of Gervase Elwes, a well-known tenor who was killed in a railway accident. The bulk of the fund's work has been to help musicians in financial need because of an accident, illness or similar misfortune. People from classical, jazz or popular musical backgrounds are all eligible, whether instrumentalist, singer, teacher or performer; their dependents can also be considered. The fund, which makes either grants or loans, has found that at the moment Aids, repetitive strain injury and redundancy are frequent reasons for requests. Also available are residential homes, for those who find living at home difficult, and holidays.
For further information about the auction, which will be held at Phillips, Bond Street, London, contact: The Musicians Benevolent Fund, 16 Ogle Street, London W1P 7LG, telephone 071-636 4481.