Guide to the Papers of Fred Blanks


MS Acc10.080

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Collection Summary

Fred Blanks
Papers of Fred Blanks
Date Range
Collection Number
MS Acc10.080
3.75 metres (25 ms boxes)
Language of Materials
National Library of Australia


Conditions Governing Access

Please refer to the collection's catalogue record for the access conditions (

Conditions Governing Use

Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions. For such material, written permission to publish must be obtained from the copyright holder(s). Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.

Preferred Citation

Items from this collection should be cited as '[Title or description of manuscript item], Papers of Fred Blanks, National Library of Australia, [class number, box number and series and/or file number]'.

Finding Aid Source(s)

Please note: This finding aid may comprise or contain descriptive information provided by donors, researchers and/or volunteers.

Item Descriptions

Class MS Acc10.080. Original Consignment

Series. Music competitions (piano etc)

Letters from Warren Thomson as adjudicator in various cities, 1990-1998 (File) - Box 1
Music competitions - notes, lectures, correspondence, ephemera re. Sydney International Piano Competition, 1992-2008 (File) - Box 1
Sydney International Piano competition programmes containing Blanks's notes, news clippings, 1977-2000 (File) - Box 1
Music competitions - piano - includes notes, news clippings, 1981-2002 (File) - Box 1
Correspondence re. 'Review and preview: the Sydney International Piano Competitions' - Centre for Continuing Education, 2003-2004 (File) - Box 1
Music competitions - non-piano - includes Melbourne International Chamber Music Competitions, Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition, Australian Singing Competition, Kawai Australasian Youth Piano Concerto Competition, Yamaha Australian Youth Piano Competition - programmes, clippings, notes, 1991-2005 (File) - Box 1
Victor Makarov - news clippings, 2004-2005 (File) - Box 1

Series. Critical correspondence and letterbox vol I

Correspondence re. lectures and writings by FRB, ex various organisations etc - vol I, 1957-1994 (File) - Box 2
Corresp. re. lectures and writings by FRB, ex various organisations etc - vol II, 1993-2002 (File) - Box 2
Articles re. CDs, soundscapes, Musical Times (UK), Music Forum, 1959-2000 (File) - Box 2

Series. Letters from composers/performers of importance to Fred Blanks (also some political leaders)

Correspondents include Peter Sculthorpe, Arthur Benjamin, James Penberthy, Eugene Goossens, George Dreyfus, Miriam Hyde, Gerard Willems, Georg Pedersen, Patrick Thomas, Myer Fredman, Florence Taylor, Paul Dyer, Anne Boyd, Philip Swanton, Joseph Post, Eric Gross, Vincent Plush, Andrew Ford, Larry Sitsky, Colin Brumby, Richard Strauss, Winsome Evans, Roger Covell, Robert Pikler, William Lovelock, James Murdoch, Leo Schofield, Michael Askill, Robert Ampt, Neal Peres da Costa, Mark Walton, WG James, Donald Peart, Florence Taylor, Ken Tribe, Kenneth Hince, Isador Goodman, David Stanhope, Ann Carr-Boyd, Michael Dudman, Helen Bainton, Barry Jones, Bob Hawke, Gough Whitlam, Anne Goossens Obermer, David Helfgott, Roger Woodward, Arthur Jacobs, Christopher Dearnley, Sidonie Scott Goossens, Franz Holford, Tessa Birnie, David Ahern, Grant Foster, Albrecht Dumling, George Kraus, Rex Hobcroft, Stuart Challender, Simon Tedeschi, Peter Platt, John Gordon, Michael Dyer, Warren Thomson, Richard Goldner, Nicholas Routley, Nigel Butterley, Graham Abbott and numerous others, 1916-2009 (File) - Box 3

Series. A Critic's Letterbox Vol I

Correspondence: re. SMH reviews - letters from the general public; general musical correspondence, 1975-1999 (File) - Box 4

Also includes letters from some of the correspondents represented in box 3

Series. A Critic's Letterbox Vol II

Correspondence: re. SMH reviews - letters from the general public; general musical correspondence, 1966-1992 (File) - Box 4

Also includes letters from some of the correspondents represented in box 3

Series. A Critic's Letterbox Vol III

Correspondence: re. SMH reviews - letters from the general public; general musical correspondence, 1993-2010 (File) - Box 5

Also includes letters from some of the correspondents represented in box 3

Series. Copies of articles etc by FRB ex various publications - vol. I

To 1994 and beyond, 1956-2006 (File) - Box 5

Series. Concert diary

Includes summary of concerts, concert statistics, concert critiques - of concerts attended by Blanks. Handwritten., 1944-1963 (File) - Box 6

Note by Blanks on 'title page': for cross-reference purposes, in regard to individual works heard, consult separate "Music heard in concerts" loose-leaf diary

Series. Music reviews from SMH

News clippings of reviews by Blanks, 1963-1974 (File) - Box 6
News clippings of reviews by Blanks, 1975-1980 (File) - Box 7
News clippings of reviews by Blanks, 1981-1984 (File) - Box 7
News clippings of reviews by Blanks, 1985-1988 (File) - Box 8
News clippings of reviews by Blanks, 1989-1991 (File) - Box 8
News clippings of reviews by Blanks, 1993-1993 (File) - Box 9
News clippings of reviews by Blanks - and index, 1994-1998 (File) - Box 9

Series. Index - concerts/reviews since 1944

Typed list of concerts, venues, dates, 1992-1993 (File) - Box 9

Note by Blanks: note that concerts and reviews are indexed separately until 1984 then together

Series. Music reviews (North Shore times)/index

News clippings of reviews by Blanks - and index, 1999-2006 (File) - Box 10
News clippings of reviews by Blanks - and index, 2007-2009 (File) - Box 10

Series. Programs from mid-1987 - summary sheets from 1993

Index of Blanks's reviews and works programmed at each concert reviewed, 1987-2009 (File) - Box 10

In binder

Series. Publications - editorial and procedural material

Includes correspondence with newspapers including SMH, NTH.H., NSTimes, 1958-2002 (File) - Box 11

Series. Invitations to critics - special functions - not necessarily concerts

Includes invitations to launches, receptions, openings, dedications, birthdays, galas etc for numerous organisations and venues in Sydney. Most annotated by Blanks with acceptance or decline. Many also have bills of fare attached., 1980s-1990s (File) - Box 11

Series. Definition of music

Lecture notes, supporting material, Early 1990s (File) - Box 12

Series. Music/opera lectures

Shakespeare and opera, 1995-2002 (File) - Box 12

Series. Australian music

Includes clippings, ephemera, correspondence on various topics in Australian music and Australian composers; lecture by Blanks prepared in 1974 titled 'Music in Australia; plan for 1997 lecture 'Music and politics in Australia', 1974-2007 (File) - Box 12

Series. Vienna Staatsoper/R. Strauss/Operetta

Clippings, research notes, lecture texts, 1990-2003 (File) - Box 12

Series. Australian Jewish publications

Includes concert index and clippings of reviews from Australian Jewish Times, Sydney Jewish News, BB Bulletin, 1954-1990 (File) - Box 13

Series. Music criticism - lectures

Miscellaneous material for single or multiple lectures - lectures from 1950s to 1990s. Includes: lecture plans/sequence/precis/music; day to day matters and feedback letters; historical and anecdotal/review samples/personal aspects; pros and cons; reviews with a message; reports from the battlefield; spares, 1950s-1990s (File) - Box 14

Series. Opera Australia

Ephemera including playbills (personnel, cast lists, some annotated by Blanks), tickets, season brochures, news clippings, 1989-2009 (File) - Box 14
Administration, press tickets, special occasions (J. Sutherland farewell), 1977-2003 (File) - Box 14

Series. Italian Operas - The World of Italian Opera

Research notes, course materials, lectures, 1990s (File) - Box 15

Series. Opera review controversy

Correspondence re. controversial review in SMH by Blanks of Opera Australia production of La Boheme in 1990, 1990 (File) - Box 15

Series. British Opera

Purcell, Walton, Tippett, Britten, Gilbert and Sullivan, Ralph Vaughan Williams; operatic morality; Royal Opera House Covent Garden (lectures), 1990s (File) - Box 15

Series. Contemporary music - avant-garde etc, "new" operas

Research notes, clippings, 1990s (File) - Box 16

Series. The Bastille Controversy 1988-91, Misc. Cultural Centres, Lecture (WEA etc) books about music

Notes, correspondence, clippings, 1988-2007 (File) - Box 16

Series. American musicals/opera (J. Adams)

Lecture materials, biographies of musical/opera composers, plots of musicals, introduction to political operas, 1988-2005 (File) - Box 16

Series. Germany - opera

Lecture materials, notes, correspondence, clippings - topics include Hindemith (Mathis der Maler, Berg (Wozzeck, Lulu), Schoenberg (Moses and Aaron), Mahler and Opera, Zemlinsky (Birthday of the Infanta), Webern, Wellesz, Gluck, Beethoven, Wagner, 1990s-2000s? (File) - Box 16

Series. Opera libretti

Approximately 30, mostly from LPs - Decca etc, some annotated by Blanks, 19-- (File) - Box 17

Series. Concert programs

Includes recitals in Sydney, and overseas festivals - Mahler, Vienna and the Twentieth Century, Mozart Festival Schoenbrunn, Bregenzer Festspiele, Some annotated by Blanks. Also complete copy of SMH 13 September 2001., 1985-2001 (File) - Box 17

Series. Orchestra concert programs, including some program notes by Fred Blanks

8 programs, including concerts by Sydney Symphony, NZBC Symphony, WA Symphony Orchestras, 1974-1995 (File) - Box 17

Series. Published music scores

Includes Richard Strauss - Kraemerspiegel op. 66 (Boosey Co.); Mozart - Symphony No. 40 in G minor (Penguin); Eric Gross - Psalm 122 (Leeds Music) - inscription to Fred Blanks by composer; Eric Gross - The Shepherd of Bethlehem: a cantata for Christmas (Leeds Music) - inscribed; Eric Gross - Psalm 130 (Leeds Music); Hans F. Redlich - Wagnerian elements in pre-Wagnerian opera - Essays Presented to Egon Wellesz ed. Jack Westrup (Clarendon 1966), 19-- (File) - Box 17

Series. Kurt Weill and his circle

Lecture materials - notes, correspondence, clippings, 1990-2001 (File) - Box 18

Series. Ralph Vaughan Williams

RVW Society, correspondence, obituary - Ursula Vaughan Williams, discography, list of scores etc, 1997-2001 (File) - Box 18

Series. Eugene Goossens

Lecture materials, correspondence (including letters from Goossens family members), clippings, programs (Goossens celebrations), 1973-1993 (File) - Box 18

Series. Sometimes with one or more touches of genius...' (score)

"An absolutely new, but totally and inadequately rehearsed Australian re-germinated composition based on folklore dedicated to our dear friend and much-appreciated music critic Fred Blanks who has employed the English language sometimes with more than a touch of genius - on the occasion of his 60th birthday. From Peter and Ann Carr-Boyd", 1985 (File) - Box 18

Series. The ABC/Australian musicians controversy (and SSO)

News clippings, 1973-1993 (File) - Box 18

Series. Composer work lists

Beethoven, Hanel, Holst, Harwood, Hoddinott, Howells, Lutyens, Israeli music, Purcell, Rawsthorne, Vivaldi, B, nd (File) - Box 18

Series. Fantasia on concerts in 60 years 1945-2005 - habits/finance/repertoire/anecdotes; ticket costs

Lecture materials - notes, correspondence, clippings, 2005 (File) - Box 18

Series. Music clubs, music educational bodies etc

Includes material on Australian Institute of Music, Australian International Conservatorium of Music, Sydney Conservatorium, Federated Music Clubs of Australia. Lecture materials - notes, correspondence, clippings, 1992-2009 (File) - Box 18

Series. Totalitarian music - Music from Monarchy to Republic

Lecture materials - including "Damien Beaumont presents Fred Blanks' Totalitarian Music" from Australian Festival of Chamber Music 2009; Blanks's lecture from 2008; correspondence with AFCM 2006-2009, 2006-2009 (File) - Box 18

Series. Lectures

Joan of Arc in music; Toscanini; 4 durable music windows (Mozart, Wagner, Schumann, Weill); Liszt and Literature; Top singers: tenor, baritone, soprano, alto, 1990s-2000s (File) - Box 19

Series. Music and politics lectures

Nazis, communists, USA, democracies, holocausts, Nixon in China, monarchy v. republic - includes notes, clippings, correspondence, 1990s-2000s (File) - Box 19

Series. Operatic morality lectures - rape, murder, suicide

AFCM 2005. Includes correspondence, lecture notes, picture gallery, background material, 2005 (File) - Box 19

Series. Literature to music: prose, poetry incl. Goethe, Shakespeare

Lecture materials - notes, correspondence, clippings, 1995-2000 (File) - Box 20

Series. Séance with Mozart - and general

Lecture materials - notes, correspondence, clippings, 2006 (File) - Box 20

Series. Russian and Czech operas; Polish music

Lecture materials - notes, correspondence, clippings, 2000-2006 (File) - Box 21

Series. French operas - incl. Jean d'Arc and operetta

Lecture materials - notes, correspondence, clippings, 1999 (File) - Box 21

Series. Biographies, interviews, obituaries A to Z; P. Davies articles

Mostly news clippings - re. eminent Australian and international musicians (File) - Box 21

Class MS Acc11.068. Consignment Added 2011 - Box 1-4

Comprises notebooks and files relating to Blank's performance history, consisting of handwritten notes, posters and miscellany, and music statistics.