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George Bridgetower

George Bridgetower


Listen to "Henry: a Ballad" here, arranged for String Quartet.

George Augustus Polgreen Bridgetower was a virtuoso Afro-European violinist and composer. During his early childhood, his father John Frederick was a servant of the Hungarian Prince Esterházy, who was the patron of Joseph Haydn. By age 11, he had moved to London and was giving concerts in Paris, London, Bath and Bristol. He eventually became friends with Ludwig van Beethoven, who dedicated his Violin Sonata No. 9, Op. 47, to Bridgetower. After a falling out, Beethoven later changed the dedication to Rudolphe Kreutzer, who never performed the work. Bridgetower was elected to the Royal Society of Musicians in 1807, and performed in the first season of the Royal Philharmonic Society in 1813. While primarily a violinist, Bridgetower wrote a few compositions, including Henry: a ballad for medium voice and piano.

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