Hall, Charles

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Epithet: Vice-Chancellor

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Epithet: of Nantwich

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Epithet: Recorder of London 1892

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Epithet: clerk, Irish Military département

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Epithet: Commander; RN; Captain 1853

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Hall was born Carl Halle in Hagen, Westphalia, on 11 April 1819, (he added the accent to the 'e' later in life, allegedly to ensure its more accurate pronunciation by the French and English). His father Friedrich was church organist and director of Hagen's mainly amateur orchestra. By the age of four, Carl could play the piano sufficiently well to manage a sonata written by Friedrich. He also learnt to play the organ, the violin and the timpani. Under the patronage of Louis Spohr, he gave a piano recital at the age of nine; thereafter his father limited his public appearances to one a year, in Hagen. He first conducted at the age of 11 when his father was taken ill during Hagen's annual visit from a touring opera company, for which the town's musicians provided an orchestra. The boy took over the direction of Weber's Der Freischtz and Preciosa and Mozart's Die Zauberflte . In the summer of 1835, when he was 16, Hall went to Darmstadt to study harmony and counterpoint under Johann Rinck and to receive general musical instruction from Gottfried Weber. In 1836 he moved to Paris, hoping to become a piano pupil of Kalkbrenner (but in fact studied under George Osborne).

In Paris, Hall soon came to know Chopin, Liszt, Berlioz and Wagner. In recitals in the salons, he introduced Beethoven's sonatas to Parisian audiences: he was the first pianist to play the complete series in Paris and, later, in London. His edition of the sonatas was published by Chappell. He also appeared frequently as a chamber music player, with Alard (violin) and Franchomme (cello). During these years he became a passionate devotee of the music of Berlioz, attending the rehearsals and first performances of several of his works, including the Requiem and Romo et Juliette .

In the revolutionary year of 1848 Hall decided to leave Paris because of diminishing concert audiences and lack of pupils. Since 1841 he had been married to Dsire Smith de Rilieu, formerly of New Orleans, and he took her and their two children (later there were nine) to London, which he had first visited in 1843. But London was crowded with migr musicians, so he accepted an approach from Auguste Leo a Manchester businessman and friend of Chopin, to settle there and to revivify musical life. In 1849 he was appointed conductor of the old-established Gentlemen's Concerts with a free hand to reorganize the orchestra. In 1857, when an art treasures exhibition was held in Manchester for six months, this orchestra was much enlarged and, rather than disband it, Hall decided to engage it for a new series of concerts at his own risk. The first concert was given on 30 January 1858. Very soon the Hall Concerts became Manchester's leading musical event; Hall conducted them, often also appearing as piano soloist, for the remaining 37 years of his life. His programmes were adventurous and he engaged leading soloists of the day. He continued to give piano recitals in London every summer, concentrating on the sonatas of Beethoven and Schubert. In 1893 he saw the realization of one of his long-held ambitions for Manchester: the foundation of a music college in the city. He was appointed principal and piano professor at the Royal Manchester College of Music, which opened in October of that year.

Hall was knighted in 1888, the year in which he also married the celebrated violinist Wilma Norman-Neruda (his first wife had died in 1866). With Lady Hall he gave sonata recitals not only in Britain but on tours of Australia and South Africa. They had returned from the latter only a few weeks before Hall's sudden death from cerebral haemorrhage. He is buried in Weaste Cemetery, Salford.

From the guide to the Letters from Charles Hall and others, 15 Apr 1856-1 Jan 1897, (Royal Northern College of Music)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Vol. XLVII (ff. 368). 10.May-18 June 1813.includes:f. 1 Richard Nevill, MP: Correspondence with Sir R. Peel: 1812-1818.ff. 3, 54, 241 John Fitzgibbon, 2nd Earl of Clare: Correspondence with Sir R. Peel: 1812-1846.f. 5 Sir Robert Harry Inglis, 2... British Library
referencedIn Vol. LXIV (ff. 340). Mar. -15 Apr. 1815.includes:f. 1 John Porter, Bishop of Clogher: Letter to Sir R. Peel: 1815.f. 3 Charles Hall, clerk, Irish Military département: Correspondence with Sir R. Peel: 1812-1815.ff. 4, 52 John Beresford Lovett,... British Library
referencedIn Vol. CCCLVI (ff. 258). Nov.-Dec. 1873.includes:f. 1 William Beckett Denison, of Leeds: Letters to W. E. Gladstone's secs.: 1873.f. 4 Marchese Carlo Guerrieri Gonzaga, Italian deputy: Letters to W. E. Gladstone: 1873-1876.: Ital.f. 6 Sir Charle... British Library
referencedIn Vol. Lll (ff. 333). 10 Nov.-Dec. 1813.includes:ff. 1, 2 b Richard Davies, Vicar of St. Nicholas, Leicester: Correspondence with Sir R. Peel: 1813.ff. 3, 4 b, 36 Sir Richard Hardinge, 1st Baronet: Correspondence with Sir R. Peel: 1812-1815.f. 5 ... British Library
referencedIn Vol. CCIV (ff. 349). Dec. 1843-May 1844.includes:f. 1 Sir Richard Jenkins, formerly MP: Letter to Lord Aberdeen: 1843. ff. 3,4b Henry Lipscomb, solicitor: Correspondence with Lord Aberdeen: 1843. ff. 5, 6b William Lockhart, MP: Correspondence with ... British Library
referencedIn ilol. Llll (ff. 306). Jan.-5 Feb. 1814.includes:f. 1 Charles Kendal Bushe, Chief Justice of Ireland: Correspondence with Sir R. Peel: 1813-1841.f. 3 General Sir Galbraith Lowry Cole, GCB: Letters to Sir R Peel: 1814-1826.f. 5 Jonas Greene, afte... British Library
referencedIn Vol. XLIII (ff. 335). 10 Nov.-Dec. 1812.includes:f. 1 Andrew Bagot, of the Grand Canal Co., Ireland: Letters to Sir R. Peel: 1812, 1813.f. 3 Isaac Corry, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Ireland: Letters to Sir R. Peel: 1812, 1813.f. 5 General Fran... British Library
referencedIn John F. Glaser collection of historical autograph letters and manuscripts, 1739-1933. Houghton Library
referencedIn News and Information Services (University of Michigan) photograph series D (faculty and staff portraits), 1946-2006, 1950-1990 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
creatorOf Letters from Charles Hall and others, 15 Apr 1856-1 Jan 1897 Royal Northern College of Music
referencedIn Vol. IX, ff. 234, A-Ma.includes:f. 1 James Hamilton, 2nd Marquess and (1868) 1st Duke of Abercorn: Letter to G. Roper: 1873. f. 3 Charles John Abraham, Bishop of Wellington: Letter to R. Owen: 1858. f. 4 Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, 10th Baronet: Letter... British Library
creatorOf Hall, William, 1773-1837. Note: Wanborough, Edw[ar]ds Co[un]ty, Ill., to Cha[rle]s Hall, London, [England], 1823 Apr. 5. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
referencedIn Vol. XLI (ff. 385). 16 Aug. 1794-19 Dec. 1795.includes:ff. 1, 18, 83, 107, 109, 126, 312 George Chalmers, Scottish antiquary: Correspondence with the lst Earl of Liverpool: 1786-1807, n.d. ff. 3, 10, 25, 32, 95, 98, 111 Sir Stephen Cottrell, Clerk t... British Library
referencedIn Vol. LXIII (ff. 303). Feb.1815.includes:f. 1 Captain Hon Francis Charles Annesley, RN: Letter to Sir R. Peel: 1815.ff. 4, 166, 208 Charles Arbuthnot, PC; MP; diplomatist: Correspondence with Sir R. Peel: 1812-1849.f. 6 Hon William Knox, Bishop ... British Library
referencedIn Photographic Portrait File The Huntington Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Ainger Alfred 1837-1904 person
associatedWith Behrens Gustav 1846-1936 person
associatedWith Ella John 1802-1888 person
associatedWith Glaser, John F., collector. person
associatedWith Hall Charles 1819-1895 person
associatedWith Hall, William, 1773-1837. person
associatedWith Hiles Henry 1827-1904 person
associatedWith Lamb Charles 1775-1834 person
associatedWith Lees Charles E. d 1893 person
associatedWith Novello Clara Anastasia 1818-1908 person
associatedWith Royal Manchester College of Music 1893-1973 corporateBody
associatedWith Stanley Edward Henry 1826-1893 15th Earl of Derby statesman person
associatedWith Tennyson Alfred 1809-1892 1st Baron Tennyson poet person
associatedWith University of Michigan. News and Information Services corporateBody
associatedWith Ward Adolphus William 1837-1924 person
associatedWith Withers Stanley d 1928 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Preston, Lancashire
Canada, North America
Westmeath, county of, Ireland
Dublin, Ireland
Manchester, Lancashire
Mayo, county of, Ireland
Naples and Sicily, Kingdom of, Italy
Manchester (Great Britain)
Dublin, Ireland
West Indies, America
Dublin, Ireland
Society Islands, South Pacific Ocean
Cork, Ireland
Lichfield, Staffordshire
West Africa, Africa
Ireland, Europe
Dublin, Ireland
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Music--Performance
Music education
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