Current news from Hagley String Orchestra
We’re rehearsing music by a UK-American composer who was previously unknown to us. Victor Herbert (1859-1924) was born on the Channel Island of Guernsey and was the illegitimate child of August Herbert and Frances Muspratt. His mother married a German doctor moving to Stuttgart, where he studied cello, piano, flute and composition.
Aged 22, Herbert was a professional cellist when he was selected by Brahms to perform in an orchestra conducted by Liszt. He married an opera singer and they joined the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
Aged 29 in 1888 he was appointed assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic, touring the USA, his Serenade for String Orchestra being premiered on 1st December. The following year he was the cello soloist in the US premiere of Brahms Double Concerto for Violin and Cello. He became conductor of both the Boston and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras. In 1914 he founded the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. After his death aged 65, he was commemorated in the film The Great Victor Herbert, commemorated in a postage stamp and had a WW2 ship named after him. This very attractive Serenade for Strings has five movements – Prelude, Polonaise, Love-Scene, Canzonetta and fast Finale – Herbert writing a demanding part for his own instrument the cello.
Jeremy Patterson - Conductor firstname.lastname@example.org
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