Bridgetower, George A. P.
Chapman Nyaho, William H.
Dworkin, Aaron Paul
Wiggins, Thomas "Blind Tom"
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Musicians -> Bridgetower, George
An excellent Black History
Resource on George Bridgetower is an online multimedia set of
Six Lessons by the City of London Festival at
http://www.bridgetowerproject.org The Beethoven Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 9 in A Major,
now called the Kreutzer Sonata, was originally dedicated to the
Black violin virtuoso George Augustus Polgreen Bridgetower. Beethoven accompanied him on piano at the work's premiere in
Vienna in 1803. Before the sonata could be published, a personal
disagreement with Bridgetower led Beethoven to substitute the
name of another violinist, Rodolphe Kreutzer.
On April 2, 2009 The New York Times published an article by
Felicia R. Lee, "Poet's Muse: A Footnote to Beethoven" in which
Dove, the Pulitzer Prize-winning former United States
poet laureate, has now breathed life into the story of
that virtuoso, George Augustus Polgreen Bridgetower, in
her new book, “Sonata Mulattica” (W. W. Norton).
“Here was the case of a man who made it into the history
books, but barely. And who would have been, if not a
household word, a household word in the musical world.
That flame was snuffed out.”
While Bridgetower failed to find a prominent place in
the musical canon, his story is nevertheless recorded in
the major musical histories, like The New Grove
Dictionary of Music and Musicians, as well as on
Internet sites like AfriClassical.com and its companion,
africlassical.blogspot.com, which document black
contributions to classical music.
2 Bridgetower, George Augustus Polgreen,
Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma,
“the Abyssinian Prince”) was born in Baiła, Poland to John
Frederick Bridgetower (employed, like Haydn, in the
Austro-Hungarian court of the Esterházy family), a polyglot
valet (he is said to have spoken fluent English, French, German,
Italian, and Polish) who is thought to have come from the
Caribbean, possibly a slave who escaped from Barbados. His
mother, Marie Ann [née Sovinki?], was from Eastern
Europe, perhaps Poland. She died in 1807, then living in
Dresden with her other child, Friedrich T. Bridgetower,
according to Hare 1936 [p299] and a cellist. As a child
prodigy, Bridgetower made his debut as soloist with the Concert
Spirituel on 11 or 13 April 1789. He was introduced to
England, performing at the Drury Lane Theatre on 19 February
1790, when he played between parts of the Messiah. This
attracted the attention of the British royalty, resulting in
performances at Windsor Castle, Brighton Pavilion, the Pump
Rooms at Bath in December (attended by about 550, including
George III) and in London. Bridgetower had already
studied perhaps with Haydn (1732-1809) and now under the
patronage of the Prince, he studied violin with Giovanni Mane
Giornovichi or Ivan Jarnović (ca. 1735/1747-1804, resident in
Paris from 1773 and London from 1791-1796) and with
François-Hippolyte Barthélémon (1741-1808, concertmaster at the
Royal Opera), and composition with a former Mozart student,
keyboardist Thomas Attwood (1765-1838), who was in service to
the Prince of Wales starting in 1787. Joining with his Austrian
contemporary, Franz Clement (for whom Beethoven was to write his
violin concerto), he presented a benefit concert at Hanover
Square Rooms on 2 June 1790, with the patronage of the Prince of
Wales (the future George IV), for which the father was paid
£25. The concert included a performance of a string
quartet by Ignaz Pleyel (1757-1831) in which the two young
violinists were joined by Ware and F. Attwood (relative of
Thomas?). It is possible Pleyel was in the audience, as he
was in London for the next season. Present however was the
composer Abbé Georg Johann Vogler (1749-1814), who commented
that the quartet’s aggregate age was not even 40. In 1791,
Bridgetower joined another former Mozart student, Johann Nepomuk
Hummel (1778-1837), both attired in scarlet clothing, pulling
stops as they sat alongside the organist Joah Bates at the
Handel Commemoration in Westminster Abbey. It was also
that year when he joined with Clement in a string quartet
performance (2 June) at Hanover Square, and entered the Prince’s
service at Brighton, playing violin in the orchestra until 1809.
He also served at least once in the first violin section in his
pre-teen years of London’s Solomon concerts (starting 15 April
1791), thereby involved in the premières of the Haydn
symphonies, commissioned by Johann Peter Solomon (1745-1815),
and conducted from the keyboard by the composer.
During the remainder of this season, Bridgetower appeared as
concerto soloist in each of the remaining five programs at the
Hanover Square Rooms. It is estimated that in the last
decade of the century, about 50 performances were presented in
Before his departure for the continent, he gave performances
from 24 February 1792 and 30 March within oratorio performances
at the King’s Theatre, managed by Thomas Linley (1733-1795),
father of yet another Mozart student, also named Thomas Linley (born
in 1756 and died by drowning in 1778). He played at a
concert in 1794 in benefit for the Spitalfields weavers, and
one in Salisbury, 6 November 1794, with a concerto said to be in
the style of Viotti. He appeared with Haydn at a concert
held by Barthélémon, at which time a Viotti concerto was
programmed. When he played at the King’s Arm in Cornhill on 31
October 1793 – his work for the Prince still allowed him to be
engaged for non-court engagements – he might have been upstaged
by the presence of Charles Claggett and his Aiuton, or Ever
Tuned Organ. In 1788 the Irishman mounted a series of
tuning forks in a row and placed them in a narrow hollow wooden
box, where they were struck by hammers. Depending of
course on the tuning forks, the range might be Six octaves.
The volume of sound was very small and nothing evolved from the
concept until 1886, when the Parisian harmonium maker unveiled
the celesta, first employed by Ernest Chausson in. La tempête
(1888) and Chaikovskĭi The nutcracker (1892).
Up to this time, John Frederick had regaled himself in
extravagant Turkish-style robes (Turkish exoticisms were
very popular at the time, as exemplified by Mozart’s Die
Entführung aus dem Serail and Beethoven’s ecumenical Turkish
variation in the last movement of the ninth symphony) but about
1791 he was sent into exile by the Prince of Wales for immoral
behavior. Thereafter his son resided at Carlton House
under the Prince’s protection, dressed as an English
gentleman. In later years, Bridgetower lived at 20 Eaton
Street (1797), John Street (1807-1809), Chancery Cross (1810),
Little Ryder Street (1812), and Chapel Street (1814-1815). At
the time of his death, he lived at 8 Victory Cottages (and/or
Norfolk Street) on a small road in Peckham.
He was granted a leave from the Prince’s service and went to
Europe in 1802 to visit his mother and brother in Dresden. He
gave two concerts while there (24 July 1802 and 18 March 1803).
On the first was performed the first symphony by Beethoven, the
violinist’s own concerto (not extant?) and a cello concerto by
his brother (also not located). The second concert
included a concerto by Mozart and one by Viotti, directed by
[Johann Philipp?] Schulz. He also performed in Tepliz and
Carlsbad during this time.
He went to Vienna in the spring of 1803, already celebrated,
where he met Beethoven. At the Augarten Theater on 24 May
1803, in a concert series managed by Ignaz Schuppanzigh, the two
gave the première of Beethoven’s penultimate violin sonata (opus
47), much to Beethoven’s delight. Despite the fact
that the concert took place at 8 in the morning, it was well
attended, including the presence of Prince Karl Lichnowsky (who
had introduced the two at his home), Prince Josef Johann
Schwarzenberg, the British Ambassador, and Prince Josef Marx
Lobkowitz. When “Brischdauer” inserted an improvised
flourish, Beethoven left the piano and said to Bridgetower,
“Noch einmal, mein lieber Bursch!” There had been no time for a
rehearsal, even though Beethoven had awakened Ferdinand Ries at
4:30 that morning to make a copy for the violinist. The
second movement, which Bridgetower had to read from the piano
part, looking over Beethoven’s shoulder, so pleased the audience
that it was immediately repeated.
Beethoven wrote a letter of introduction (18 May 1803) on behalf
of Bridgetower to Baron Alexander Wetzlar (1769-1810).
He made friends in Vienna, including the physician, Prof. Johann
Th. Helm of Prague and Count Prichnowsky. He and Dr. Helm
met Beethoven on the street and the pair was taken to the home
of Schuppanzigh for the rehearsal of a Beethoven quartet.
Present were violinists Ignaz Krumbholz, Christian Schrieber
Karl Moser of Berlin, and cellist Anton Kraft. He also met
Alexander Wetzler (to whom Beethoven had recommended Bridgetower),
Count Moritz Fries (a banker), and Theresa Schonfeld.
Warm relationships with Beethoven were however ephemeral.
They parted ways over an argument, and Beethoven withdrew
the sonata, dedicating it to Rodolphe Kreutzer (1766-1831),
never a Beethoven enthusiast, who refused to perform it since
the première had already been given, but also saying the work
was “outrageously unintelligible” (according to Berlioz in his
Voyage musical en Allemagne et en Italie). The work,
originally titled by Beethoven as Sonata mulattica composta
per il mulatto Brischdauer, gran pazzo e conpositore mulattico,
and in his 1803 sketchbook, as a Sonata per il Pianoforte ed
uno violino obligato in uno stile molto concertante come d’un
concerto, is nonetheless now known as the Kreutzer sonata.
His passport, obtained in Dresden, 27 July 1803, portrayed him
as being of average height, beardless with dark brown hair and
eyes, with a broad nose and swarthy complexion. Friends added
that he was melancholic and discontent.
Back in London, Bridgetower was sponsored in a concert by the
Prince of Wales, held 23 May 1805 at the New Rooms, Hanover
Square, with mention in the program of the violinist’s brother.
Although no mention had been previously made to him as a pianist,
Bridgetower became a respected keyboard teacher and contributed
to the pedagogical literature for the instrument.
He was an original member of the Royal Philharmonic Society (founded
in 1813) for which he played in a quintet by Beethoven and,
as second violin, in a Mozart quartet. He also belonged to
the Professional Music Society (1807).
In 1811, he secured his B.M. degree from the University of
Cambridge. The “exercise” for this occasion was the anthem
for orchestra and chorus, By faith sublime fair Passiflora
steers her pilgrimage along this vale of tears, set to a
text by F. A. Rawdon and performed at Great St. Mary’s Church,
30 June 1811.
He lived in Rome in both 1825 and 1827, and resided for a long
time also in Paris. He visited London in 1843, before
later returning there for the remainder of his life, but for an
1845 visit to Vienna, reported by MacArdle in Schindler 1966
He seemingly outlived his wife, with whom he was married by
1819. Her sister, a Miss Drake, was the beneficiary of his
estate of less than £1000. In 1832 he had inherited 800
Saxon dollars from his mother’s estate (she had died in Budissen,
Saxony, in 1807), which suggests his brother was already dead in
1832. He had a daughter, resident in Italy. He is
buried in Kensal Green Cemetery. It has been rumored that
his violin is now owned by a collector in California. A
letter from Beethoven to Bridgetower was sold in London for
$3,600 in 1973. A letter from Vincent Novello (1781-1861),
activist in the Bach revival in England, is signed “your much
obliged old pupil and professional admirer.”
A British film, A mulatto song, directed by Topher
Campbell, was issued in 1996. The cast included Colin
McFarlane as Frederick DeAugust, (i.e. Bridgetower’s
father) Cole Mejas as the young Bridgetower, and Everton Nelson
as the adult Bridgetower.
The Bridgetower String Quartet (violinists Bruce Mack and
Harriette G. Hurd, violist Leon D. Neal, and cellist Jerome
Wright) was established in 1973, affiliated with Boston’s
Concerts in Black and White and had at least one event taped
for telecast by WGBH. In addition to a year’s residency in
Brazil, it toured the United States and participated in Howard
University’s Andrew W. Mellon Recital Series in the 1980s. It
disbanded when Bruce Mack returned to Brazil.
A collection of new songs, composed by an African.
By faith sublime fair Passiflora steers her pilgrimage
along this vale of tears, for chorus & orchestra. Text:
F. A. Rawdon. Performed in London, Great St. Mary’s Church, 30
Concerto, violin (by 1802).
Concerto, violin, violoncello [spurious?, or more
likely two concertos, the one for cello by his brother].
Diatonica armonica for the pianoforte. London: R.
Birchall, 1812. ii, 29p.
Henry; A ballad (c1812). London: Monzani & Co.,
n.d. 7p. Première [?]; Elizabeth Feron. Dedication: Princess
of Wales. Duration: 5:23.
----- for piano quintet, arr. by Dominique-René de Lerma (2003).
Prepared on the request of TrioFatal,of Gelsenkirche.
Minuets &c &c for the violin, mandolin, German flute &
harpsichord, composed by an African, inscribed to His Grace,
Duke of Buccleugh and to the Right Honorable John, Lord Montague
of Broughton. Book 2d, etc. London: Richard Duke, for
the author, [1795?]. Library: British Library [b.53.b.(l.)]
Minuets, cotillions and country German dances for the
violin, mandolin, flute, and harpsichord, composed by an African
(c1790). Library: British Library.
Sonata mulattica, violin & piano. Manuscript lost,
or is this a reference to the Kreutzer sonata?
Lerma, Dominique-René de. “George Bridgetower” in Sonorities
in Black music; a concert series, first concert, 12 December
1978. Baltimore: Morgan State University, 1978, p5.
Abdul, Raoul. “The African prince” in Blacks in classical
music. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1977, p175-178.
Anderson, Emily, ed. The letters of Beethoven. London:
Macmillan, 1961, p90ff.
Aulich, Bruno. “Bridgetower” in Die Musik in Geschichte und
Gegenwart. Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1973, v15, c1090-1091.
Banat, Gabriel. “Saint-Georges, Chevalier de” in
International dictionary of Black composers, ed. by Samuel
A. Floyd, Jr. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1999, v2, p983-989.
Brandenburg, S., ed. Beethovens Werke für Klavier und
Violine. München: 1974.
Campbell, Margaret. The great violinists. London [?]: Robson
Cheke, D. J. “Feron, Elizabeth” in The new Grove dictionary of
opera, ed. by Stanley Sadie. London: Macmillan, 1997, v2, p160.
DeMoor, Margriet. Kreutzersonate; eine Liebesgeschichte. München:
Edwards, F. G. “George P. Bridgetower and the Kreutzer sonata”
in Musical times, v49 (1908/V/01), p302-308.
Engelsmann, W. Beethovens Kompositionspläne, dargestellt in
den Sonaten für Klavier und Violine. Augsburg: 1931.
Forbes, E., ed. Thayer’s life of Beethoven. 2nd ed.
Frimmel, Teodor von. “Beethovens Kreutzersonate und der
Violinvirtuose Bridgetower” in Neue freie Presse
Girdham, Jane. “Black musicians in England” in Ignatius
Sancho; an African man of letters. London: National Portrait
Grove, George. “Bridgetower, George Polgrreen” in The new
Grove dictionary of music and musicians, ed. by Stanley
Sadie. London: Macmillan, 1980, v3, p281-282.
Hanslick, Edward. “Zur Geschichte der in letzter Zeit so viel
genannten Kreutzersonate” in Allgemeine Musikzeitung, v19
Hare, Maud Cuney. “George Polgreen Bridgetower” in Crisis,
v34 (1927/VI) p122, 137-139.
Hare, Maud Cuney. Negro musicians and their music,
introduction by Josephine Harreld Love. New York: G. K. Hall,
1996. xl, 439p. (African-American women writers,
1910-1940). ISBN 0-7838-1417-8. Original publication:
Washington: Associated Publishers, 1936.
Herwegh, M. Technique et interprétation sous forme d’essai
d’analyse psychologique éxperimentale appliqué aux sonates pour
piano et violon de Beethoven. Paris: 1926.
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King, Reyahn. An African man of letters. London: National
Portrait Gallery, 1997.
Kuhn, Dieter. Beethoven und der schwarze Geiger. 1990.
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violinist” in Your musical cue, v5n3 (1968/XII-1969/I)
p7-9. RILM 69/2954.
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Black music research journal, v10n2 (1990/fall) p118-122.
Reprinted from Black music research newsletter, v8n1
MacArdle, Donald W. Beethoven abstracts. Detroit:
Information Coordinators, 1973.
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York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1969.
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Philosophical Library, 1956.
Panton, Clifford D. George Augustus Polgreen Bridgetower,
violin virtuoso and composer of color in late 18th-century
Europe. Foreword by Maria Luisa Rodriguez Lee. Lewiston NY:
Edwin Mellen Press, 2005. 148p. (Studies in history and
interpretation of music, 115). ISBN10 0-7734-6207-4. IBSN13
Papendiek, Charlotte Henrietta. Court and private life in the
time of Queen Charlotte, being the journals of Mrs. Papendiek.
London: Bentley & Son, 1887.
Riemann, Hugo. Opern-Handbuch; ein notwendiges Supplement zu
jedem Musiklexikon. Leipzig: 1887.
Rogers, Joel Augustus. 100 amazing facts about the Negro.
New York: 1930. [Advances the erroneous speculation that
Beethoven might have had African ancestry].
Scherman, Thomas K. The Beethoven companion, by Thomas K.
Scherman and Louis Biancolli. Garden City NY: Doubleday, 1972.
Schindler, Anton Felix. Beethoven as I knew him (1860),
ed. by Donald W. MacArdle, translated by Constance S. Jolly.
Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1966.
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Selig, Emil. “Zwei vergessene Kunstgenossen Beethovens” in
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Shyllon, Folarin. Black people in Britain, 1555-1833.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977.
Slonimsky, Nicolas. “Bridgetower, George Augustus Polgreen” in
Baker’s biographical dictionary of musicians. 6th ed. New
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Biographical dictionary of Afro-American and African musicians.
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3rd ed. New York: W. W. Norton,.1997, p253, 582.
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(1970/winter) p1-8. RILM 71/2369.
St. Laurent, Philip. “The Negro in world history; George A. P.
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portrait by Roszel Scott].
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hand of Samuel Wesley, ca. 1836]. British Library, Add. 27593.
Williams, Francee Greer. The Abyssinian prince; The true life
story of George Polgreen Bridgetower. Lincoln NE: Writers
Club Press, 2001. 216p. ISBN 0-595-14538-6 9 (paperback).
[Fiction, which suggests that the Countess Marie Ann finds to
her surprise that Bridgetower was her father].
Wright, Josephine R. B. “George Polgreen Bridgetower; An African
prodigy in England” in Musical quarterly, v67n1 (1980/I).
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5 Electronic Resources
“Education & artistic institutions”
“London; A world famous Black violinist dies in obscurity”
(2001). 2p. Consulted 2003/VI/10.
“Mad about Beethoven; Beethoven’s friends and patrons”
places/people_patrons/people_patrons_bridgetower.htm. 2p. Consulted 2003/VIII/20.
“1778 - The nine year old African prodigy”
http://www.black-history.org.uk/prodigy.asp. 1p. Consulted
“The Say Brother Collection”
(2001) 3p. Consulted 2003/VI/10.
Phillips, Mike. “Black Europeans, a British Library Online
Gallery feature by guest curator Mike Phillips”
. 8p. Consulted 2006/X/13.
Zick, William J. “Black violinist accompanied by Beethoven”
(2006). 18p. Consulted 2006/X/9.
 Many sources provide 1779 as the date of his birth. Southern
1982 (p47) and Slonimsky 1978 (p232) state he was born on 29
February 1780. Southern 1997 (p253) reverts to the 1779 date,
probably by oversight. Panton 2005 gives 1778 as the year of
birth. There is a possibility that, lacking a family name, the
father assumed that of Bridgetower, a misspelling of Bridgetown
which, if true, suggests that John Frederick was an escaped
slave from Barbados (whose capitol is Bridgetown). This is
supported by a guest book entry of 7 December 1796, reported by
Volkmann 1942, p149-154. There is also speculation that Polgren
(or Polgreen) might have been the name of the slave holder.
Nevilla E. Ottley, a musician and educator in the Washington
area has conducted genealogical research on the names and in
2005 had found no Barbados citizens named Bridgetower, but a few
in England. However she has identified several Polgreens within
one family, going back to James Henry Polgreen who married
Christabella Ann Toppin in St. Georges (1819), noting the name
was of Scottish and British origin. In the process she found
middle names that are identical to surnames within her own
 Five cities employ this word (Polish for “white”), two of
which without further qualification: One in the Opole region,
the other in Silesia.
 Further identified by János Harich in “Haydn documenta I” (Haydn
year book II, 1963-1964).
 The review in Le mercure de France made a point of
indicating this refuted the concept of racial inferiority.
 Political unrest in France encouraged a move to England
during this period.
 Queen Charlotte’s assistant keeper of the wardrobe, Mrs.
Papendiek, made note of the 1789 introduction at Windsor,
commenting on the performance of a Viotti concerto and a quartet
 Reviews issued in Bath’s Chronicle (3 December 1789)
and Morning post (8 December 1789) are quoted in Hare 1996
however asserts the composer’s mother was an English lady. The
four concerts given in Bath included concertos by Viotti,
Giornovichi, and Saint-Georges. One of these was a benefit
concert that included a singer, Miss Cantelo but it was reported
that it “was not equal to her friends’ expectations,
notwithstanding Harrison and Young Bridgetower both exhibited.
The Black Prince, father of the Violinist, by being too
officious, has lost the countenance of most of his benefactors,
as his Concert showed last Saturday morning at the Lower Rooms –
not fifty attended.”
 Born in 1762, he became Prince Regent in 1811 when his
father, George II, was determined not well enough to rule, and
became George III in 1820. He died in 1830. Carlton House, by
Pall Mall became his London residence when he turned 21, and he
set out lavishly decorating the building with newly designed
furniture, various chinoiseries, and paintings by the
major artists of the day. It was demolished in 1827.
 Originally only three concerts were projected, but music
from the first was repeated at a fourth concert and the fifth
was a repeat of Messiah, first heard on 29 May. The
concerts were held between 26 May and 5 June 1784 under the
patronage of George III. The performers were at the disposal of
Joah Bates, who already had a 20-year reputation of interest in
“old” music as director of the Concert of Ancient Music. Much
information of the events was provided in Charles Burney’s 1785
book, An account of the musical performances in
Westminster-Abbey and the Pantheon…in commemoration of Handel.
He indicated that Handel had been born in 1684, a year earlier
than that accepted today and providing the justification for the
commemoration’s date. It had been incorrectly assumed that
Saxony was still using the Julian calendar, unmindful that the
Gregorian calendar had been adopted. Plans for the celebration
were developed from a conversation at Bates’ home in 1783, when
he remarked that there were more eminent musicians in London
than any other city. Galleries had to be constructed in the
Abbey to accommodate the audience and the performers. The
orchestra exceeded Handel’s specification with the addition of
sacbuts, “doublebase” timpani, contrabassoon, and seven flutes
for an orchestra that numbered 275.
 Haydn was booked for the 1791-1792 and 1793-1794 seasons,
the first of which earned him an estimated modern-day equivalent
of $250,000. Mozart’s death in 1791 prevented him from
participating in the 1792-1793 season, which had already been
 Located in London’s East End and later ethnically diverse,
the area was populated by French Huguenot silk weavers and was
later to become the site for the nocturnal ventures of Jack the
Ripper. While more recently better known for architecture,
shopping and more attractive features, in the late 18th century
it was a favorite part of London for sailors seeking cheap
liquor and prostitutes. Added to the weavers’ woes were symptoms
of the Industrial Revolution.
 Giovanni Battista Viotti (1755-1824) left his native Italy
in 1780 to tour eastern Europe. He settled in Paris in 1782
where the next year he served as conductor for the Masonic
orchestra, the Loge Olympique, working alongside Saint-Georges.
His affiliation with the aristocracy obligate his departure in
1792, when e moved to London, directing the Opera Concerts in
1795, the King’s Theatre orchestra in 1797, and managing the
Italian Opera (1794-1795). Of his 29 concertos for the violin,
the first 19 were written in Paris. Although he and Samuel
Wesley (1766-1837) were both older than Bridgetower, the three
were associated as colleagues. Other friends, closer to his own
age, included the pianist-composer-publisher Johann Cramer
(1771-1858), Thomas Attwood, and Dr. Charles Hague of Cambridge
 He passed himself off variously as Rev. John Augustus
Polygreen Bridgetower, Friedrich de August Bridgewater, and
Lieutenant-General Mentor who had served Toussaint L’Ouverture
 This was an important factor in Bridgetower’s life, despite
his talent. An Act of Parliament in 1807 outlawed the [purchase
of slaves, but the emancipation was not effected until 1834 (followed
by a four-year period of transition by apprenticeship, to
protect land owners from the loss of their labor force). The
freedom is now celebrated on 1 August, the day liberation was
 The final movement was originally the finale of op. 30.
 It brought in 1,149 florins.==
 Greg Benko, former director of the International Piano
Archives, stated that he had seen a document held within a
private library in St. Louis, that suggested the argument was
over a male (very unlikely and not supported elsewhere). All
other references indicate Beethoven’s change of attitude
resulted from an obscene comment Bridgetower made regarding a
woman, so Beethoven allegedly told J. W. Thrilwell, according to
an article he published in the December 1858 issue of Musical
 Born to a German violinist active in the French court,
Kreutzer became a celebrated violin virtuoso. He had been
soloist while in his 20s with Saint-Georges. It has been claimed
that he continued the virtuosity concepts of Saint-Georges into
the 19th century, and even transmitted some concepts of violin
performance from Saint-Georges to Beethoven, who adopted these
in his violin concerto (Banat 1999, p988). Kreuzter was one of
the first violin teachers at the Conservatoire, established by
Napoleon, and was principal violinist and conductor with the
Opéra. He and Beethoven never met.
 Most likely opus 29 in C major, from 1801, although it
could have been that in E-flat major from 1795. Least likely
would be the quintet for piano and winds, op. 16, despite the
presence in London of most dependable woodwinds, as Haydn’s late
 Dr. Leon Neal joined the faculty at Howard University,
Jerome Wright and Harriette Hurd intensified their recital and
 Reprints of Diatonica harmonica and of Henry
(including the version for piano quintet) are in preparation for
 Excerpts from this scale exercise book were performed by
Claus Christian Schuster at a Vienna concert, 28 October 2005 at
the baroque Palais Mollard-Clary.
 This might have taken place in 1812, the year the soprano
married Joseph Glossop, but would have been before her stay in
Italy starting in 1829.
 Mention should be made of Henry Schwarzchild (1916-1986),
who escaped from Nazi Germany and became head of the American
Civil Liberty Association’s Capital Punishment Project, was
quite familiar with the life and works of Bridgetower. Further
exploration would determine if he published on the subject.
7 Other Resources
All-About-Beethoven.com (www.all-about-beethoven.com) - The Ludwig van Beethoven page
LVBeethoven.com (www.lvbeethoven.com) - Enter the world of Ludwig van
UnheardBeethoven.org (www.unheardbeethoven.org) - Ludwig van Beethoven's unrecorded
This page was last updated
January 25, 2019