1846 Autograph Letter Signed from Sir George Thomas Smart, English Musical Conductor and Organist, to Opera Manager Benjamin Lumley.
Letter thanking opera manager Benjamin Lumley for free admission to Her Majesty’s Theatre in London
Autograph Letter Signed from Sir George Thomas Smart, musical conductor and organist, thanking Benjamin Lumley for placing his “...name on the Free List of Her Majesty’s Theatre” and wishing him “...a very prosperous Season.” Lumley (born Benjamin Levy) managed Her Majesty’s Theatre from 1842 to 1853 and again from 1856 to 1858. According to Lumley’s entry in ODNB, “Her Majesty’s Theatre had practically been the sole home of Italian opera since its establishment in England.”
According to ODNB, Sir George Thomas Smart “...was born in London on 10 May 1776, the eldest of the six children of George Smart (1750/51?–1818?), a music publisher and dealer and an amateur bass player, and his wife, Ann, née Embrey (d. 1818). After schooling in London and Ashford, he began his musical career in 1783 as a chorister at the Chapel Royal, St James’s, under Edmund Ayrton, and studied the organ with Thomas Dupuis, the piano with J. B. Cramer, and composition with Samuel Arnold. ... On 1 January 1811, on a visit to Dublin to conduct a series of concerts, he was knighted by the duke of Richmond, lord lieutenant of Ireland. Two years later he became one of the original members of the Philharmonic Society, for which he often conducted. ... Smart conducted the first English performance of Beethoven’s ninth symphony at the Philharmonic Society in 1826, and that of Mendelssohn’s St Paul at the Liverpool festival in 1836. Having conducted the music at the funeral of George IV and the coronation and funeral of William IV, he became composer to the Chapel Royal on 1 April 1838; he subsequently conducted and played the organ at the coronation of Queen Victoria and played the organ at her wedding to Prince Albert. In 1845 he travelled to Bonn for the celebrations attending the unveiling of the Beethoven statue. ... Much sought after as a teacher of singing until he was past eighty, he was particularly valued for his knowledge, acquired from his father’s observation, of how Handel wished his arias to be sung: his students in this included Jenny Lind and Henriette Sontag, and among other pupils were Emma Romer and Louisa Pyne. ... His compositions included glees, anthems, and other church music, and he edited Gibbons’s first set of madrigals for the Antiquarian Society (1841) and Handel’s Dettingen Te Deum for the Handel Society (1846–7).”
Description: 1846 Autograph Letter Signed from Sir George Thomas Smart, English Musical Conductor and Organist, to Opera Manager Benjamin Lumley.
[London]. March 3, 1846. p. A.L.S. 8vo. Single leaf. Folds; very small corner loss; short closed tear affecting one letter; remnants of old mounts on verso; good.