1890 – 1983
Born Alwine Dorothea Schulze at Galashiels, Scottish Borders. Her father Charles Schulze was a German-born industrialist engaged in textile manufacture and, from 1906, chocolate making at Portobello, Edinburgh through the Continental Chocolate Company which became the concern by his three sons. The family home was the imposing mansion of Brunswickhill, named after Charles’ German home town of Brunswick. Two of Dorothy’s brothers, William Rudolph and Hugh, were killed in military action in the First World War, while the third, Charles Frederick Lees, joined the Auxiliary Division of the Royal Irish Constabulary after war service and was soon involved in the infamous ‘Burning of Cork’ event of December 1920. On the death of Charles Frederick in 1946 his estate was shared by Dorothy and her sister Mary Elizabeth.
Nothing is known at present concerning the musician’s obvious classical training although it is understood that an extensive collection of family papers survives and may now be in the care of the local authority archive service – it might be assumed that these will include material relating to Dorothy.
Billed as ‘Scotland’s Lady Violinist’ she performed in the 1920s as part of The London 8 Concert Party a highly popular group which included Tom Copeland, Scottish Comedian, Walter Nunn, cellist and Molly O’Moore, Irish Soprano. Within the group she performed solo and in a trio with Walter Nunn and Miss Joan Duff, ‘London’s Youngest Classical Pianist’.
The note of a broadcast by the 2LO station on 7 Jan 1924 notes that she played Gypsy Airs by Sarasate as well as group numbers with The London 8.
Newspaper reports suggest that during the 1930s and 40s she performed frequently across central Scotland, particularly in the Borders where she appeared with Hawick-born leading soprano Isobel Bailie. A review of a Burns Concert in Edinburgh noted that ‘Miss Alwynne has a big broad tone of fine quality, remarkable execution and her phrasing is very good.’ [Scotsman 29 January 1934 p. 10]
Braw Braw Lads / Robin Adair / Lord Moira / Piper o’ Dundee / Blue Bonnets / Speed the Plough
From 78 rpm record Parlophone [E3953 E4495] Recorded c. 1932. This selection was clearly made to reflect the player’s local musical traditions. On publication of these sides the Southern Reporter [23 June 1932] carried the advertisement
Don’t miss the fine Records of the Eminent Galashiels Violinist
Including Braw, Braw Lads only on PARLOPHONE Scotland’s Favourite Record
Lady Madeline Sinclair / Flora MacDonald’s Lament / My love she’s but a lassie yet / Mary Lees
From 78 rpm record Parlophone [E3953 E4494] Recorded c. 1932. Mary Lees was the maiden name of Dorothy’s mother who was from Galashiels.