A few months after the Paris début, the Bridgetowers, father
and son, turn up next in Windsor, performing for their Majesties,
and Bridgetower Senior "seemed to win the good opinion of every
one, and was courted by all". Complete with the stamp of Royal approval,
young Bridgetower arrived in Bath in November and took the city
by storm. King George III and 550 guests attended his first concert
at the Assembly Rooms in December.
The local newspapers were fulsome in their praise, but the Bridegtowers'
success seems to have been partly attributable to Bridgetower Senior's
genius in public relations. Before and after the performance he
strolled along the promenade with his son dressed in 'Turkish' costume,
attracting the maximum attention. Afterwards he issued a lofty letter
of appreciation addressed to the "Nobility, and Gentry, Visitors
and of that wonderful City - Bath". His skills were clearly appreciated,
and not only in terms of ticket sales. The Bath Journal
notes that: "The greatest attention and respect was paid by the
nobility and gentry to his elegant Father, who is one of the most
accomplished men in Europe, conversing with fluency and charming
address in several languages.”
Within the same month young Bridgetower sold out two more concerts
in Bristol, on Christmas Eve and New Year's Day.
Guest-curated for the British Library by Mike Phillips
Next - 'First successes in London'