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First successes in London

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Map of London   Hanover Square
Map of London in Bridgetower's time (1781)
British Library Maps, Crace V.158 cb
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  Hanover Square, London
British Library K.Top.32. 30.h

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St Paul's Cathedral   Notice of the Hanover Square concert in the Times
St Paul's Cathedral
British Library K.Top.23.35.t

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  Notice of the Hanover Square concert in the Times
British Library Egerton MS 3096 f.184

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George's first London appearance took place at one of the Lenten oratorio performances at Drury Lane Theatre on 19 February 1790, when he played a concerto between the first and second parts of Handel's Messiah . The next day the Public Advertiser and the London Chronicle praised young Bridgetower for having provided "utmost satisfaction", but both papers were eager to report on the "African Prince" and his delight in his son's success.

It is likely that the success of the Drury Lane concerts attracted the attention of the Prince of Wales because a few months later, on 2 June, Bridgetower and the Austrian violinist Franz Clement, another child prodigy, gave a benefit concert at the Hanover Square Rooms. It seems that from this point on Bridgetower enjoyed the patronage of the Prince.

Bridgetower's principal violin master, under the Prince's direction, was François-Hippolyte Barthélémon (long-term orchestra leader at the Royal Opera). Bridgetower is also said to have studied the violin under Giovanni Giornovichi (Ivan Jarnovic), the Italian-born Croatian composer and virtuouso violinist. In addition he studied composition with Thomas Attwood, organist at St Paul's and professor at the Royal Academy of Music. After his initial year in England it appears that young Bridgetower was well and truly launched into life as a professional musician.

Guest-curated for the British Library by Mike Phillips

Bridgetower, Brighton and the Prince of Wales Next - 'Bridgetower, Brighton and the Prince of Wales'

Introduction Introduction
Alexander Pushkin Alexander Pushkin
Alexander Dumas Alexandre Dumas
George Polgreen Bridgetower
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
John Archer John Archer
 
 
 
Discover more:
Introduction
Introduction
Alexander Pushkin
Alexander Pushkin
Alexandre Dumas
Alexandre Dumas
George Polgreen Bridgetower
Background and early years
Background and early years
Arrival in England and GPB's debut in Bath
Arrival in England and debut in Bath
First successes in London
GPB, Brighton and the Prince of Wales
Bridgetower, Brighton and the Prince of Wales
Play it again Mr bridgetower - Beethoven and Vienna
Play it again Mr Bridgetower - Beethoven and Vienna
Life as a professional musician
Life as a professional musician
The final years
The final years
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
John Archer
John Archer
 
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