Little Bits of History

Mr. Music

Posted in History by patriciahysell on January 30, 2012

Hallé Orchestra

January 30, 1858: The Hallé Orchestra performs for the first time. The Hallé is the oldest existing symphony orchestra in the world and the fourth orchestra to be assembled. Charles Hallé was a German pianist and conductor. Born in Germany in 1819, Hallé moved first to Paris then arrived in England in 1848 and settled in Manchester. He started a series of classical music concerts and gave performances throughout England. He was the first pianist in England to play all of Beethoven’s piano sonatas.

In May 1857 Hallé brought a group of musicians together to perform at the Manchester Arts Treasures Exhibition. They performed together for six months and disbanded. Hallé decided to formally organize an orchestra and they gave their first concert at the Free Trade Hall. They did well until 1861 when they only gave two concerts but they survived the lean times. Hallé was knighted in 1890 and died in 1895. The Orchestra’s leadership was taken over by Hans Richter from 1899 to 1911. The Orchestra thrived under his direction and was honored to be able to present Sir Edward Alger’s Symphony No 1 for its premiere performance.

The Orchestra was again in trouble by 1943 when membership had declined to thirty. Between 1943 and 1970 under the directorship of Sir John Barbirolli, the Orchestra returned to its former glory. They made many recordings and were the premiere performers for Symphony No 8 by Ralph Vaughn Williams. Today, the Orchestra’s Musical Director is Sir Mark Elder. The Principal Guest Conductor is Christian Mandeal. The orchestra is joined by the Hallé Choir, Hallé Youth Orchestra, and Hallé Youth Choir.

The Free Trade Hall served as the venue for concerts from the orchestra’s founding until 1996. The Free Trade Hall was built in 1853-56 near the site of the 1819 Peterloo Massacre. The building was a symbolic salute to free trade and was instrumental in bringing wealth to Manchester during the Industrial Revolution. The Bridgewater Hall, the new venue, cost £42 million to build and opened September 11, 1996. They hold over 250 performances annually. The auditorium seats 2,341 people and is home to a pipe organ with 5,500 pipes.

For better or worse, you must play your own little instrument in the orchestra of life. – Dale Carnegie

To me, the piano in itself is an orchestra. – Cecil Taylor

Music is the most important thing. I’m thinking of my future. There has to be something new, and I want to be part of it. I want to lead an orchestra with excellent musicians. I want to play music which draws pictures of the world and its space. – Jimi Hendrix

I conceived of an instrument that would create sound without using any mechanical energy, like the conductor of an orchestra. The orchestra plays mechanically, using mechanical energy; the conductor just moves his hands, and his movements have an effect on the music artistry – Leon Theremin

Also on this day:

“Look that up in your Funk and Wagnall’s” – In 1922, Dick Martin was born.
King Richard III – In 1835, an attempt was made to assassinate President Jackson.
Assassination attempt – In 1835, the first US Presidential assassination attempt takes place.

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