This notable photograph shows Sir George Grove and his staff at the time of the laying of the foundation stone to the Blomfield building on 8 July 1890. The College, founded in 1883, was established as a successor to the National Training School for Music, and some of the staff in the photograph had been either teachers or students at the older institution. Over the years many were eventually celebrated in an obituary in the RCM Magazine. These articles provide unexpectedly revealing insights - many of the staff were not widely known even in their own day, but some (e.g. Herbert Sharpe, Alberto Visetti) were obviously held in great respect and affection, others (e.g. Frederic Cliffe and Haydn Inwards) had seen careers and personalities diminish, and others were so completely forgotten that no obituary appeared.
In some cases these images are particularly revealing - the causal flamboyance of George Watson, the slightly dandified air of Stanford and the individuality of Parry, the careworn look of W. E. Gladstone (who gained 'no apparent pleasure' from working at the College) and the shyness of Miss Mayfield. To identify who is who, click on the image itself, and follow the instructions of the new page. Wherever possible the accompanying text has been taken from obituaries and tributes that appeared in the RCM Magazine, or obituaries in the Musical Times (MT).