The Archive

The Mendelssohn Scholarship Foundation decided in 2011 to commission a piece on the history of its archive.

In 2013 the Committee announced the completion of a major article written by Dr George Biddlecombe, which was published in the Journal of the Royal Musical Association in May 2013.
(This was published online on 3 May 2013,
and a print version on 10 May 2013).

Dr Biddlecombe is currently working on an inventory of the contents of the archive.
Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, Trustee

Secret Letters and a Missing Memorandum : New Light on the Personal Relationship between Felix Mendelssohn and Jenny Lind.
Dr George Biddlecombe
Publication : Journal of the Royal Musical Association, Vol 138, No 1 published in May 2013 in online and printed journal formats.

‘The Committee of the Mendelssohn Scholarship Foundation possesses material indicating that Mendelssohn wrote passionate love letters to Jenny Lind entreating her to join him in an adulterous relationship and threatening suicide as a means of exerting pressure upon her, and that these letters were destroyed on being discovered after her death. The notion that Mendelssohn would have written such letters strikingly conflicts with the received view of his character. Nevertheless the veracity of the material is beyond doubt, and, while it does not include specific evidence that Mendelssohn and Lind began an affair, it points more clearly than has hitherto been possible towards an answer to this question. Thus it necessitates a radical revision of perceptions of these two major musicians’.
Dr George Biddlecombe