Text Box: Conductor autographs


Price: $250.00


One page autographed letter signed, Cambridge, July 9, 1835.  We offer with an original  stipple engraving from his 1867 obituary from the “London Illustrated News”.

Sir George writes:

Cambridge July 9th, 1835

Dear Madame,

             I herewith return a Book of Songs containing “The Foray” which you lent me in London and also all the Parts of “The Crucifixion” you sent to my house and those copied (vide the List) W. T. A Walsite must be applied to for the Alto Chorus Part which was not returned to me.

I am

Dear Madame

Sours very truly

George Smart

Smart (1776-1867) was likely referring to “Der Tod Jesu” by Carl Heinrich Grau which played at a number of English music festivals as “The Crucifix” during the 1830’s.

Smart grew up the son of a music publisher.  He learned the violin and organ from an early age.  In 1791 he was the organist of St. James Chapel on Hampstead Road in London. He also played violin in Johann Peter Salomon’s concerts during the Haydn’s visit to London in 1791 and again in 1794.  During one of those concerts, the timpanist did not arrive and Smart volunteered to take over and apparently badly.  Haydn took him aside and gave him a lesson in drumming so he could competently play during the concert.  He also began a side career as a singing teacher at this time. 

In 1811 Smart went to Dublin for his first orchestral concerts as a conductor.  This time he proved to be highly competent and was knighted by the Lord Lieutenant of  Ireland for his performances.  In 1813 he was a co-founder of the London Philharmonic Society and conducted many concerts of the Society through 1844.  He conducted the British Premiere of Beethoven’s “Mount of Olives” in 1814 with the Lenton Oratorio s which he founded and led from 1813-1825.  In 1818 he was the conductor of the City Concerts in London under the patronage of Baron Heath.  From 1822 he was appointed organist of the Chapel Royal.  Smart also conducted the Royal Philharmonic Society, opera at Covent Garden and Drury Lane.  In 1825 he went to Germany with Charles Kemble to commission an opera for Covent Garden, the result was “Oberon”.  Weber came to England in 1826 and lived in Smart’s home until his death on June 5th of that year.  Smart and Julius Benedict raised the funds for the statue that stands today in Dresden honoring the composer.  A decade later Smart conducted the British Premiere of Mendelssohn’s  oratorio “St. Paul”.  In 1838 he was named Court Composer to the Chapel Royal. As a voice professor, Sir George Smart was sought out by young singers who wanted to understand authentic performing practices of Handel whom his Father had seen conduct and passed on to his son.  Both Jenny Lind and Henriette Sontag sought his expertise for their performances.  He also taught; Elizabeth Greenfield, John Orlando Parry, Mary Shaw and Willoughby Hunter Weiss among others.

Smart was one of the most important conductors and music organizers in Great Britain during the first half of the 19th Century.  His children followed in his footsteps, his son Charles was a chorister, Henry was a well know organist and composer.

Superb for display together!



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