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Personal papers of Brian Priestman

Call Number: PP 446


Brian Priestman joined the University of Kansas faculty as artist in residence and conductor of the Symphony Orchestra in 1992; his final performance as conductor for KU was in 2002. This collection consists almost entirely of sheet music used by Priestman, as well as a 6 page section of typed notes of explanation on his edits to Lalande's Te Deum.


  • Creation: approximately 1950s


Language of Materials

English; Latin

Conditions Governing Access

These materials are stored in the KU Annex off-site storage area.

All researchers interested in reviewing this material must consult Spencer Research Library Public Services staff (785-864-4334 or, 9-5 M-F CST) no less than three days in advance of a planned visit. Be advised that drop-in requests for this material cannot be accommodated.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Brian Priestman (1927- )

Brian Priestman was born in 1927 in Birmingham, England. He served in the British military in the late 1940s, and earned a bachelor's and masters' degree in music from the University of Birmingham, as well as an advanced degree from the Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles in Belgium.

He returned to England and, from 1952-1954, worked at the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra as an apprentice conductor. He went on to work for the Philomusica of London and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

In 1964, he came to North America, first to lead the Edmonton Symphony in Canada, then, beginning in 1970, to lead the Denver Symphony Orchestra. Priestman left Denver in 1978. After leaving Denver, he led the Florida Philharmonic for two years. He has also served as principal conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, as well as guest conductor with orchestras in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. He has conducted more than 300 performances on the BBC, as well as two national tours with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. He served as Professor and Head of the Department of Music at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Priestman joined the University of Kansas (KU) music faculty as artist in residence and orchestra conductor in the fall of 1992. He made his debut performance as conductor of the KU Symphony Orchestra on October 2, 1992. Priestman's final performance as conductor of the KU Symphony Orchestra was on May 4, 2002.


.25 linear foot (1 document case + 2 oversize boxes ) : Collection consists of musical scores.

Scope and Contents

The Brian Priestman papers consist almost entirely of sheet music. Represented are Johann Ludwig Bach's "Drum Welt Ade," Mozart's Symphony No. 3, a suite by Jean-Joseph Mouret, a Bach Cantata, and three dances from Amadis by Johann Christian Bach.

Priestman's November 1958 edition of Lalande's Te Deum includes a 6-page section of typed notes on his editing choices, his edition of wind and viola parts, ornamentation, a chart explaining Priestman's choral decoration, and a "leaf programme note" that includes a brief biography of Lalande.

Physical Location

PP 446

Physical Location

Annex (Contact Spencer Library Public Services)

Related Materials

Consult library staff regarding the availability of related photographs, biographical files, and scrapbooks.

Guide to the Brian Priestman Collection
Personal papers of Brian Priestman
Finding aid prepared by kmc, 2007. Finding aid encoded by kmc, 2007. Finding aid revised by mwh, 2021.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Personal papers of Brian Priestman, University Archives, PP 446, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States