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Peter Linnitt

Peter LinnittBorn in Oxfordshire and brought up just outside Bambury, Peter Linnitt made his way to Wales in 1987 to study at the School of Music. This was the beginning of an interesting journey towards his current role as head Librarian at the Royal College of Music…

I chose to study music at Cardiff because it was (and still is!) one of the best music departments in the country and had fantastic resources. I’m very passionate about music, it’s something I’ve always loved, but I’m no performer so Cardiff appealed to me because of the academic nature of the course.

In the years since graduation, catching up with old school friends has sometimes helped me to realise just how lucky I’ve been. Many of them went to University purely to get a degree, whereas I was able to spend three years immersing myself in something I was passionate about.

David Wyn Jones' module on Music in 18th Century London stands out in my mind, it was a fantastic introduction to a period that is still a strong interest of mine.

After graduating, my first job was actually in Bradford Central Library followed by a two year stint in a bookshop. I studied for an MSc in Information Studies and have been working in music libraries ever since. I spent 15 years at Music Librarian at the BBC which I loved but eventually felt it was time for a new challenge.

Librarian at the Royal College of Music was one of the few jobs I used to say I’d like to have if I couldn’t work for the BBC! When the vacancy came up there, I just had to go for it.  I’m particularly enjoying the incredible collection they have here. It includes lots of chamber music and instrumental music which is opening up whole new areas of interest for me.

I have so many wonderful memories of my time at Cardiff that it’s difficult to pick out highlights. When it came to allocation of personal tutors, I was asked what my particular interests were. One of the first things I said was “Haydn” so I was assigned to Professor David Wyn Jones, a natural choice given his expertise in the area. His module on Music in 18th Century London stands out in my mind, it was a fantastic introduction to a period that is still a strong interest of mine. I can actually remember an essay I wrote for David on Haydn’s London Symphony – I think it was possibly the best essay I ever submitted!

I also remember some of the talks we got to attend. Professor Robbins Landon  was Visiting Professor at the time and he gave an amazing talk on music in Venice, which was so full of incident and influence that it really brought the subject to life. A slightly more random memory is a lecture by Malcolm Boyd on baroque and dance music. To illustrate why there are never uneven bars in dance music, he was dancing around the podium, stopped on the number 5 with his leg in the air and said, “that’s why”.

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Cardiff to anyone interested in studying music. It’s a big, vibrant department which offers so many performance and study opportunities. It’s also a friendly community and I’m lucky in that the friendships I made as an undergraduate have lasted 25 years.