Charles Frederick Hall
Charles Frederick Hall
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|Born||December 18, 1815|
Norwich, Norfolk, England
|Died||February 9, 1874 (aged 58)|
|Burial place||Anfield Cemetery, Liverpool|
|Alma mater||Royal Academy of Music|
|Spouse(s)||Eleanor Eliza Jane|
Charles Frederick Hall was born 18 December 1815 in Norwich, Norfolk, England, the son of actor William Frederick Hall and Jane Greenfield. He was baptized at St Michael at Thorn, Norwich, Christmas Day, 1815. He was baptized again in the Swedenborgian church in Norwich as a teenager.
As a boy, Charles joined the juvenile opera company of London impresario Robert William Elliston at the Surrey Theatre, London. He returned home to Norwich after Elliston's death in 1831. He then studied the violin with Friedrich Mueller, musical director of the Theatre Royal Norwich. In 1835, at the age of 15, Charles played a violin solo, an air by Joseph Mayseder, in a benefit concert. That same year, the Norwich business directory listed Charles as a Professor of the Violin, Piano, Guitar, and Singing. He also performed at local dances and parties with a quadrille band.
At the age of 25, Charles moved to London. There he studied at the Royal Academy of Music, joined the Drury Lane Theatre orchestra, gave the occasional lecture at the Holborn Literary Institution, and toured with the Drury Lane Theatre's production of Michael Balfe's new operaThe Bohemian Girl. Charles began composing vocal pieces while in London. His ballad "The Soft Evening Hour," was sung by Miss Forde, Drury Lane Theatre in 1841. In 1842, The Musical World reviewed Charles' ballad "There is a Hope."
On 6 November 1844, Charles married Eleanor Eliza Jane "Ellen" Vining at St James Church, Clerkenwell. They lived for a time at 33 North Street, near Kings Cross station, where their only child, Charles King Hall, was born in August of 1845.
In 1847, Charles Hall, along with George Smith, former manager of the Theatre Royal Norwich, invited celebrated Swedish soprano Jenny Lind to give two concerts in Norwich. Charles' stepfather, George Gedge, put up 1,000 pounds for the concerts. Jenny Lind performed in St Andrew's Hall, Norwich, on the 22nd and 23rd of September 1847. She gave an impromptu concert the morning of the 24th before leaving the city. The professional musicians who accompanied Lind had been specially selected by Charles from the Covent Garden Opera House, Drury Lane Theatre, and the Royal Philharmonic Society. Michael Balfe conducted this orchestra while Charles acted as leader. Additionally, Charles performed a solo himself each evening.
Two years later Charles and his business partner, William Howlett, a Norwich merchant, staged six consecutive nights of "grand concerts and balls" during the city of Norwich's annual agricultural week. Hall and Howlett booked two international singers for the concerts: mezzo-soprano Jetty Treffz and baritone Johann Baptiste Pischek. Charles' wife made her stage debut at the first concert, in which she sang soprano in a trio and accompanied Jetty Treffz on the piano. The six concerts were a financial failure. As the Norfolk Chronicle put it, "the spirited entrepreneurs [Hall and Howlett] have sustained a heavy loss." Later that same year, the Choral Society of Norwich staged a benefit concert of Handel's Messiah expressly in aid of Charles and his partner.
From 1859 through 1860, Charles held the position of musical director at the newly rebuilt Adelphi Theatre, London. In 1866 Charles, now a widower, married actress Caroline Eliza Latham Haselton, with whom he lived at 179 Hampstead Road, near Euston Station.
Charles Frederick Hall died 9 February 1874 at 8 Deane Street, Liverpool, England, at the age of 58. He was buried two days later in Anfield Cemetery, Liverpool. The burial register records his profession as Professor of Music. A flat tombstone says, "In Affectionate Remembrance of Charles Frederick Hall, who died Feb 9th 1874, aged 58.
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- Birth Certificate for Charles King Hall, born at 33 North Street, Islington, to Charles Frederick Hall, professor of music, and Eleanor Eliza Jane Hall, formerly Vining, certified as a true copy by General Register Office in the Registration District of Clerkenwell, County of Middlesex, 5 March 2004
- Norwich News, 2 Oct 1847, Norfolk, England. The British Newspaper Archive, www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk
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- 28 Jul. 1849, Norfolk, England. The British Newspaper Archive, www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk
- Norwich Mercury, 22 Dec 1849, Norfolk, England. The British Newspaper Archive, www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk
- Nelson, Alfred L, Gilbert B Cross, and Joseph Donohue. "Calendar for 1859-1860," The Adelphi Theatre Calendar, U. of Massachusetts
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