Musical Director of the Society from 1948 until 1973

Freda Dinn

Freda Dinn

Courtesy of Mary Bonsor

(abbreviated from the obituary in Recorder Magazine, September 1990 by Edgar Hunt with some additional information)

Freda Dinn devoted her life to music and between the violin and the recorder. She was educated at Alleyn’s School in Dulwich, not far from her home in Herne Hill, and at the Royal College of Music where she later taught the violin and conducted the orchestra in the Junior Department. Later she succeeded Stanley Taylor as Recorder Professor. She formed a recorder class at the Mary Ward Settlement in about 1937, which she ran for many years, handing it over to Dr Walter Bergmann.

When the SRP was re-formed after the War Freda was elected to be one of the Musical Directors. At this time she was a music lecturer at the Froebel Institute, Grove House, Roehampton, and when the SRP decided to launch the Recorder in Education Summer Schools it was through her influence that the Society was able to hold them at first at Templeton in Priory Road, Roehampton, one of the Institute’s halls of residence, and in due course at Grove House itself.

Freda also ran the highly successful Junior Section of the SRP with Ida Mabbett in the 1950s.

The team responsible for these Summer Schools was: Dr Walter Bergman, Freda Dinn, Dr Carl Dolmetsch and Edgar Hunt. Eventually, when it was no longer possible for them to continue at Grove House, Freda again provided the link which enabled them to move to Keyworth in Nottinghamshire in 1972; but she retired from the Summer Schools after the 1973 course. About the same time she was retiring to Birchington in Kent and would have found the distance too much.

For a time she served Schott’s in an advisory capacity relating to the selection of music for festivals and the choice of manuscripts for publication until she found travel to London for meetings too taxing. She was then suffering eye trouble. In Birchington she was building up a private teaching practice and encouraging local music groups until the car accident which halted further musical activity.

Freda Dinn’s publications were many. She will probably be best remembered for My Recorder Tune Book for descant recorder and piano, with its supplements for violin and treble recorder. This was a valuable descant method which offered parallel progress on the treble (Schott). Playing for Pleasure, books 1 and 2 were aimed at elementary players as were Four Folksongs for descant recorders and strings (Schott). Four study pieces fro treble recorder and piano were part of a series of study pieces which she edited for Lengnick and which included works by other composers, including Edmund Rubbra. She arranged Fifty Songs of Praise (2 books) for O.U.P. Sir Eglamore combined a choir/singing class with recorders, strings and percussion (Schott). She collaborated with Walter Bergmann in Play and Sing with us (4 books), and with Marion Berry (her colleague at Roehampton) in Sing, Dance and Play and Dancing Tunes (Schott).

Her Observer’s Book of Music was published by Frederick Warne in 1953. Her book The Recorder in School was published by Schott in 1965.


Last updated 2 July 2020