First Philharmonic

A History of the Royal Philharmonic Society
Author(s): 
Ehrlich, Cyril
ISBN: 
0198162324
Date published: 
January 1995
Hardback
Price: 
£42.50
Pages: 
316

Established by musicians in 1813, the Philharmonic is the world's second oldest concert society; only Leipzig is senior. Weber and Mendelssohn were active honorary members; Joachim and Clara Schumann lifelong friends. The list of gold medalists runs from Elgar and Beecham to Sibelius, Rachmaninov, and Tippett. Most instrumentalists and many singers of international repute mounted its platforms. Berlioz, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, Grieg, Dvorak and Strauss came to preside over their music. Celebrating a venerable institution, this history, based upon exhaustive research in the Society's archives, also addresses wider themes, which continue to bear upon concert life: the evolution of repertoire and performance, audience, agent and conductor; networks of recruitment; patronage and the market place; the collective biography and proliferation of London orchestras; the economics of fees and rehearsals. Shaw once claimed that the Philharmonic's generosity towards Beethoven was the only creditable incident in English history, and never mentioned by historians. A leading authority on the economic and social history of music now attempts to repair that omission.

BL A fascinating account of one of the world's oldest and most celebrated concert societies

Established by musicians in 1813, the Philharmonic is the world's second oldest concert society: only Leipzig is senior. Weber and Mendelssohn were active honorary members, and many instrumentalists and singers of international repute mounted its platforms. Berlioz, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, Grieg, Dvorak, and Strauss all came to preside over their music. Celebrating a venerable institution, this history, based upon exhaustive research in the Society's archives, also addresses wider themes which continue to bear upon concert life: the evolution of repertoire and performance, audience, agent, and conductor; networks of recruitment; patronage and the marketplace; London orchestras; fees and rehearsals.

Fascinating history of the one of the world's oldest concert societies