Luigi Marchesi & ‘Cervetto’

March 8, 2011

Cervetto/ Marchesi –   Luigi Marchesi’s career stretched across the revolutionary generation. He was lionised by the Burneys, by Stendahl, by Napoleon, and gave singing lessons to Niccolo Paganini. Paganini-‘Adieu a Londres’ Peter Sheppard Skaerved Violin[Audio clip: view full post to listen]  Upon hearing him for the first time, Maria Cosway wrote to Thomas. Jefferson:  ‘The […]

Lucia Elizabeth Vestris

March 8, 2011

Madame Vestris –  Madame Eliza Vestris (1797-1856) was the daughter of  the artist Gaetano Stefano Bartolozzi.  In 1813 she married Augustus Arnold Vestris, the dancer, and ballet master of the Kings Theatre. A contralto, she made her debut on the 20th July 1815 at the King’s Theatre, in Peter Winter’s opera, Proserpine. She made her […]

Charles Mathews

March 8, 2011

Charles Mathews –  On the 8th April 1834, the comic Charles Mathews gave his last ‘at home’ at the Adelphi Theatre, scripted by Richard Peake. On the 7th, 9th and 11th April, Paganini gave some of his final appearances in the UK, on the same stage, four years after his first appearance. [i][1] The recent […]

Karl Friedrich Abel

March 8, 2011

Emma, Lady Hamilton

March 8, 2011

Emma Hamilton nee Hart – (NPG 2941 Emma, Lady Hamilton by Richard Cosway pencil and watercolour, circa 1801 Primary Collection) SCS S5-2/5   ‘Then there is the ‘Lord Nelson’ Stradivari, found in an officer’s state room on [the Victory] after the battle of Trafalgar….Nelson, didn’t care for violinists. Lady Hamilton….hired Paganini once for a musical […]

Richard Cosway

March 8, 2011

Richard Cosway – Richard Cosway, a well known dandy, who appeared (at the opera) ‘full-dressed in this sword and bag with a small three cornered hat on the top of his powdered toupee and a mulberry silk coat profusely embroidered with scarlet strawberries.’  In 1770 the Oxford Magazine reported:  “There is indeed a kind of […]

Samuel Cartwright

March 8, 2011

Samuel Cartwright –  One of the main reasons that touring performers were keen to visit London was the quality of the health care available there. This ranged from the dental care offered by Samuel Cartwright (who innovated the appointment system) to doctors such as Archibald Billing [See NPG D9290], who also acted as a financial […]

Fredrick Delius

March 8, 2011

Fredrick Delius –  Group including Frederick Delius and Philip Arnold Heseltine by Ernest Procter pencil, 1929   Delius was largely self-taught, like Elgar, and came from a German commercial family which had settled in Bradford.  Roy Strong pointed out his anti-modernist stance: ‘In common with others of his generation he reacted strongly against the world of […]

Benjamin Britten

March 8, 2011

Benjamin Britten Britten-Pears Foundation: Aldeburgh       Benjamin Britten was essentially a ‘team player’, and his gregarious nature, expressed both as a performer and a composer, which helped him to create a new British  vernacular that reached out beyond the confines of the musical world. Many of the crucial creative moments in his life happened in domestic […]

Imogen Holst

March 8, 2011

Imogen Holst – ( Imogen Clare Holst by Milein Cosman etching, 1981 Archive Collection)    William Glock provides a powerful illustration of Imogen Holst’s gift for teaching. This is particularly moving for me, as it was written by the wonderful pianist, Joyce Rathbone, who was a huge influence on my in my late teens:  ….Imogen Holst’s […]