Opera Scotland

George Henschel Suggest updates

Sir George Henschel (Isidor Georg Henschel).

Born Breslau, 18 February 1850.

Died Aviemore, 10 September 1934.

German, naturalized British, baritone, pianist, composer and conductor. He was knighted in 1914.

Sir George Henschel was one of the most versatile musicians of his age, able to sing arias in concerts either to his own piano accompaniment or supported by an orchestra he was conducting.

While his singing was restricted to the concert platform rather than the opera house, Henschel worked frequently in Scotland, being appointed conductor of the Scottish Orchestra in 1893.

Henschel studied originally as a pianist before training as a singer. His close friendship with Brahms lasted from their meeting in 1874 until the older composer's death.

Henschel moved to Britain in 1877, and also worked extensively in the United States - both his wives were American. When the Boston Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1881 he was appointed its first conductor, and took the same role at the establishment in Glasgow of the Scottish Orchestra in 1893 (this band had previously been an ad hoc body, the Orchestra of the Glasgow Choral Union). Henschel also managed a series of symphony concerts in London.

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