Charles Edward Stephens

July 17, 2008

Charles Edward Stephens was born in London on March 28th 1821 and died there July 13th 1892. He was a pianist and teacher, and also first organist at several London churches until 1875. His chief instructors were 0. Potter (piano), Wagner Grove (violin), and Hamilton (theory). In 1850 he was appointed Associate, and in 1857 full member, of the London Philharmonic, of which he was later Director and Treasurer. In 1874 Stephens was an originating member of the Music Association.

The best-known works of Charles Edward Stephens include: Orchestral and chamber-music (2 symphonies; 2 string-quartets; a piano-quartet; a piano-trio; etc.) and  such pianoforte-pieces as Sonata in A; Duo brillant in A, for piano 4 hands; Duo concert in D, and another in F (for 2 pianos); organ-music, glees, songs, and church-music.

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Edward Collett May

February 8, 2008

Edward Collett May was a celebrated organist and singing-teacher, born in Greenwich, England, October 29th 1806; he died at London, January 2nd 1887. A pupil of Thomas Adams, C. Potter, and Crivelli, he was organist of Greenwich Hospital, 1837-69; and professor of vocal music at Queen’s College, London. A disciple of Hullah, he taught in numerous schools and private classes, doing much to popularize singing among the masses. May published “Progressive Vocal Exercises for Daily Practice” (in 1853), and various songs.

John Stanley

January 17, 2008

John Stanley, (actually Charles John Stanley), was born in London, England on January 17th 1713, and died there May 19th 1780. Blind from early youth, he studied under J. Reading and M. Greene, became organist in several churches, and in 1779 succeeded Boyce as Master of the Royal Hand. He enjoyed the esteem of Handel, after whose death he conducted the oratorio performances with Smith. His main works include: Oratorios Jephtha (1757), Zimri (1760), The Fall of Egypt (1774); dramatic pastoral Arcadia (for George III’s wedding); songs: Opus 1, eight solos for German flute, violin, or harpsichord; op. 4, six ditto; opus 2, six concertos for four violins, viola, ‘cello, and thorough-bass for harpsichord; op. 5-7, ten voluntaries for organ or pianoforte; and six concertos for harpsichord or organ (1760).

William Henry Holmes

January 8, 2008

William Henry Holmes was an English pianist; born in Sudbury, Derbyshire on January 8th 1812, he died at London on April 23rd 1885. Holmes was a pupil of the Royal Academy of Music from its establishment in 1822; where he won two medals, and became assistant pianoforte professor in 1826, and later principal professor for piano. He influenced many distinguished pupils, including Sterndale Bennett, the two MacFarrens, and Davison. His works included: The Elfin of the Lake, an opera; symphonies; a pianoforte-concerto; a sonata for pianoforte and violin; pianoforte-sonatas, and several songs.

Frederick Clay

December 31, 2007

Frederick Clay was a prominent composer, born of English parents in Paris, France on August 3rd 1838. He died at Great Marlo near London on November 27th 1889. A pupil of Molique at Paris, and of Hauptmann at Leipzig. His first operettas, The Pirate’s Isle (1859) and Out of Sight (1860), were given privately at London; afterwards he brought out, at Covent Garden and other London theaters, Court and Cottage (1862), Constance (1865), Ages Ago (1869), The Gentleman in Black (1870), Happy Arcadia (1872), Babul and Bijou (1872), The Black Crook (1873), Cattarina (1874), Princess Toto (1875), Don Quixote (1875), Oriana, The Golden Ring (1883), The Merry Duchess (1883); as well as incidental music to “Twelfth Night,” and other plays; two cantatas: The Knights of the Cross (1866), and Lalla Rookh (1877). He also wrote part-songs, songs, etc.

Philip Cipriani Hambly Potter

December 21, 2007

Philip Cipriani Hambly Potter was a pianist and composer, born in London on October 2nd 1792, he died there September 26th 1871. A pupil of his father, and of Callcott, Attwood, and Crotch (theory) and Woelfil (pianoforte). He also studied at Vienna, under Forster (1817-18), it is said that Beethoven gave him good advice. In 1822 Potter was pianoforte-teacher at the R. A. M., succeeding Crotch as Principal in 1832, and resigning in 1859, his successor being Charles Lucas. His works included 9 symphonies, 4 overtures, 3 pianoforte-concertos, string-quartets, a concertante for pianoforte with ‘cello; etc. Published works: Op. 1, 2, 3, sonatas for pianoforte; op. 6, Grand duo for two pianofortes; op. 7, duet for two pianofortes; op. 11, sextet for pianoforte, flute, and strings; op. 12, 3 pianoforte-trios; op. 13, Sonata di bravura for pianoforte with horn (or bassoon); op. 19, pianoforte-studies in all keys; op. 20, Introduction and Rondo for pianoforte; op. 21, 2nd Rondo brillant for pianoforte; also rondos, toccatas, 6 sets of variations, 4-hand pieces, and transcriptions of 2 symphonies and an overture; a Fantasia and Fugue for 2 pianofortes; a trio for 3 pianofortes, 6 hands; etc.