In September 1888 three Manchester businessmen sent out an invitation to a meeting to be held in the Crown Hotel, Fountain Street, Manchester, on October 1st.
Eleven people attended, and 'a discussion took place as to the desirability of establishing an amateur Instrumental Society'. This was the beginning of The Beethoven Society, now over one hundred years old.
We're delighted that the, now called, Manchester Beethoven Orchestra will be performing music from two Greater Manchester composers, John Foulds and William Walton.
John Foulds was born in Hulme, Manchester and was the son of a bassoonist in the Hallé Orchestra. He joined the Hallé as a cellist in 1900, having already served an apprenticeship in theatre and promenade orchestras in England and abroad. He became a successful composer of light music. His Keltic Lament, which will be played on the day, was once a popular favourite and in the 1920s the BBC scheduled his music on a daily basis.
William Walton was born in Oldham. His father Charles Alexander Walton, was a musician who had trained at the Royal Manchester College of Music under Charles Hallé, and made a living as a singing teacher and church organist, and his mother, Louisa Maria (née Turner), had been a singer before their marriage. During a sixty-year career, he wrote music in several classical genres and styles, from film scores to opera. His best-known works include Façade, the cantataBelshazzar's Feast, the Viola Concerto and the First Symphony.