Music in the Wood
Musicians & music makers who lived here in 19th & 20 C
St Johns Wood has often been referred to as the part of London where artists and also prostitutes lived during the nineteenth century. But our research has discovered that over one hundred musicians and music makers have lived in the Wood over the last two centuries. Many of them studied at, and later became professors at the Royal Academy of Music, conveniently situated across Regent’s Park. Others stayed here when visiting from abroad in order to conduct, play or sing to British audiences.
Here is an alphabetical list for each century, with short details about the musicians and where they lived.
1 Marietta Alboni (1826-1894) was an Italian contralto who was a pupil of Rossini. In 1846–47, she toured the principal cities of Central Europe, finally reaching London and Paris, where she settled permanently. In London, she appeared in leading roles by Rossini and Donizetti (where she outshone Giulia Grisi and Jenny Lind). She stayed in St Johns Wood when in London singing at Covent Garden and Her Majesty’s Theatre.
2 Frances Allitsen (1849-1912) was an English singer and composer. Her patriotic song “There ís a Land” was widely sung at the time of the Boer War (1899-1902). Her real name was Mary Bumpus and Allitsen Road is named after her – she lived nearby in Queen’s Terrace.
3 Algernon Ashton (1859-1937) was an English composer. Leipzig-trained, he taught piano at the Royal College of Music (1885-1910). He wrote many chamber works, influenced by Brahms. He lived at 44 Hamilton Gardens.
4 Sir William Sterndale Bennett (1816-1875) An English conductor and composer, he conducted the first English performance of Bach’s St Matthew Passion in 1854. He was a friend of Mendelssohn. In 1856 he was made Professor of Music at Cambridge and in 1866 Principal of the RAM. He was knighted in 1871 and in 1873 moved to 66 St Johns Wood Road where he died. He was buried in Westminster Abbey.
5 John Boosey (1832 – 1893) Grandson of the founder of Boosey & Sons, music publishers, he established the London Ballad Concerts in 1867 at St. James’s Hall and later at Queen’s Hall when it opened in 1893. Dame Clara Butt performed at these concerts, and its successes included Arthur Sullivan’s “The Lost Chord”(1877). He lived at 48 Hamilton Terrace in 1870s. see separate entry
6 Neville Butler Challoner (1784-1834) was a tenor, violinist, harpist, conductor and composer who formed a musical publishing partnership with Thomas Skillern in 1806 with a shop in Greek Street. He lived in Grove End Road in 1820 and in 1825 on the corner of Abbey Road and Grove End Road where Neville Court is now named after him.
7 Lansdowne Cottell (1835-1909) was a pianist, composer and teacher at the RAM. He was also the founder of the London Conservatory of Music (1876) and conductor of the St Johns Wood Society of Musicians which met at his home, Lyndenhurst, 37 Abbey Rd.
8 Sir Frederic (Hymen) Cowen (1852-1935) An English pianist, he was a child prodigy,and then studied in Leipzig & Berlin as a conductor. He was later better known as a composer. In 1888-92 he was appointed conductor of the Philharmonic Society and he was knighted in 1911. From 1904-12 he lived at 91 (old no 54) Hamilton Terrace.
9 Fanny Davies (1861-1934). An English pianist who studied with Clara Schumann for two years and later played with Joachim. In 1886 she performed Sterndale Bennett’s Concerto in C minor at the Philharmonic Society. She was the first to give a recital in Westminster Abbey in 1921. She lived at 52 Wellington Road in the 1890s.
10 Luigi Denza (1846-1922) An Italian writer of songs, he came to London in 1879 and from 1898 he was Professor of singing at the RAM. Among the 500 songs he composed was “ Funiculi Funicula” which sold more than half a million copies. He lived at 16 Abercorn Place.
11 Francois Joseph Dizi (1780-1840). A Belgian harpist and conductor. His reputation as a harpist contributed to the enormous popularity of the harp in England during the first quarter of the 19th century. He lived in Park Road.
12 Alan James Foley aka Giacomo Foli (1835-1899). An Irish bass opera singer who sang in nearly 60 operas in the 1860s in London and in 1877 in MacFarren’s opera “Joseph” at the Leeds Festival. He lived at St Michael’s Villa, Abbey Road from 1868-73.
13 Percy French (1854-1920) An Irish songwriter and also painter. French became renowned for composing and singing comic songs and gained considerable distinction with such songs as “Phil the Fluther’s Ball” and “The Mountains of Mourne” which was popularised by Peter Dawson in the 1920s. He lived at 21 Clifton Hill.
14 Arthur Friedheim (1859-1932) A German pianist and composer and a pupil of Anton Rubinstein. He was secretary to Liszt and came to be regarded as one of the foremost exponents of his music. In 1894 he came to London and lived at 33 Marlborough Hill.
15 Carolina Geisler-Schubert (1856-1951). “Linchi” to her friends, was the great-niece of Schubert. A gifted pianist, she studied with Clara Schumann in Frankfurt. She also played hostess to Dohnanyi when he came to London. She lived at 64 Hamilton Terrace.
16 Isabel Jay. (1879-1927). was an English operatic soprano and actress, best known for her roles with the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company and in musical comedies. She was photographed for over 400 picture postcards which were popular at the time. She lived in Abbey Road.
17 Joseph Joachim (1831-1907) was a Hungarian violinist, beginning as a child prodigy. He became a protégé of Mendelssohn and a friend of Brahms whose music he introduced to the English public. From 1862 he made annual visits to London, living at 23 Grove End Road in the 1890s.
18 Theodor Lierhammer (1866-1937). A baritone, Polish by origin, he claimed Vienna as his residence. He was a great lieder singer who made most of his career in London. He came to England in 1900 and was appointed singing professor at the RAM. He lived at 76 (old no 30) Hamilton Terrace in 1911.
19 Sir George MacFarren (1813-1887)An English composer of Scottish descent. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music, became a professor in 1834 and became Principal in 1876. He lived at 20 (old no 7) Hamilton Terrace. see separate entry
20 Barton McGuckin (1852-1913) was an Irish tenor of renown who made his career principally in Britain with the Carl Rosa Opera Company but also gained a wide success in oratorio and concert. He lived in Abbey Road.
21 Maria Malibran (1808-1836) born Garcia, was a Franco-Spanish mezzo-soprano who also sang both contralto and soprano parts, and was one of the most famous opera singers of the 19th century. She moved to London in 1834 and in April 1836 she had a fall from her horse in Regent’s Park from which she never really recovered, dying the following September. She lived in Grove Road (now Lisson Grove).
22 James Henry Mapleson (1830-1901) was an English opera impresario, probably the leading figure in the development of opera production and the careers of singers such as Therese Tietjens and Lillian Nordica in London and New York in the second half of the 19th century. Mapleson worked at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and later Her Majesty’s Theatre, which he rebuilt in 1877, producing opera there until 1881, also in 1887 and 1889, and at Covent Garden until his last seasons in 1885 and 1887. He lived at 62 Abbey Road.
23 Lillian Nordica born Lillian Borton(1857-1914) was an American soprano, known as the ‘Yankee Diva’. She made her debut at Covent Garden in Mapleson’s company with instant success. She also sang in concerts at the Crystal Palace and oratorio at the Albert Hall. She lived at 27 Finchley Road.
24 Ella Russell (1864-1935) an American soprano who studied in Paris and Milan. In 1885 she made her first appearance in London, singing Gilda in “Rigoletto” at Covent Garden. She also sang at the Proms with Sir Henry Wood in 1897. She lived at Marlborough Hill, Boundary Road and Loudoun Road.
25 Florence St John (1855-1912) was an English soprano of the late Victorian and Edwardian eras, famous for her roles in operetta, musical burlesque, music hall, opera and later, comic plays. She lived at Villa Favart, 57 Finchley Road.
26 St John’s Wood Oratorio Concerts given in the Eyre Arms Tavern Assembly Rooms. on Grove End Road. On March 3rd 1856 there was the first performance in London of Mendelssohn’s “Elijah”, conducted by Frank Mori.
27 St John’s Wood Society of Musicians met at Lyndenhurst 37 Abbey Road, the home of their conductor, Lansdowne Cottell R A. for ‘amateur & professional, for ladies & gentlemen of position in society’. Soirées and choral meetings were held fortnightly ‘during the season’.
28 Norman Salmond (1846-??)was an English bass baritone. In 1890s he performed at the Crystal Palace Saturday concerts and was the bass in the original cast of Sullivan’s “Ivanhoe”. In 1891 he was living at 55 (orig 67) Hamilton Terrace with his son
29 Felix Salmond (1888-1952) who studied cello under William Whitehouse, and who also lived in Hamilton Terrace. He made his debut in London in 1909 at the Beckstein Hall (now Wigmore Hall) with his mother, Mrs Norman Salmond as pianist. He gave the first performance of Elgar’s Cello Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Queens Hall.
30 Sir Charles Santley (1834-1922)was an English baritone who sang in the first Wagner opera to be presented in London – ”The Flying Dutchman”. He was a member of the Mapleson company at Her Majesty’s Theatre. but also sang in oratorios. He lived at 5 (orig 54 then 89) Hamilton Terrace for 20 years and died at 13 Blenheim Road where there is a Blue Plaque.
31 Sofia Scalchi (1850-1922) was an Italian operatic mezzo-soprano who first sang at the Promenade Concerts, Agricultural Hall, then at Covent Garden from 1868-1890 and toured the US as a member of Mapleson’s company. She lived in Finchley Road.
32 William Shakespeare (1849-1931) was an English singer, pianist, teacher and composer. From 1866-1871 he studied with Sterndale Bennett then had a career as concert & oratorio singer before becoming singing professor at the RAM. He lived at 36 (orig 15) Hamilton Terrace.
33 Antoinette Sterling (1850-1904) was an American contralto who in 1873 made her first appearance at Covent Garden under Sir Julius Benedict and rapidly became a popular favourite of the day. She gained her greatest successes as a ballad singer, especially in such songs as “Caller Herrin’ “, “The Three Fishers” and “The Lost Chord”. She lived at 24 Marlborough Place with her Scottish husband, singer John MacKinlay.
34 Therese Tietjens (1831-1877) was a German soprano who made an outstanding career in opera in London in the 1860s-70s. She had a range of 3 octaves and excelled in Meyerbeer’s “Les Huguenots”. She died young from cancer, but sang until the end. She lived at Loudoun Hall, Grove End Rd now the site of St John & St Elizabeth Hospital.
35 Sir Paolo Tosti (1846-1916) was an Italian composer of salon music – songs especially. He settled in London in 1880 and taught the Royal family for which he was knighted in 1908 and also made a Hon RAM. His best-known song is “Good Bye”. In 1911 he was living at 52 Wellington Rd.
36 Zelia Trebelli (1838-1892) was a French operatic mezzo-soprano who had a big success in Germany before making her debut in 1862 in London as Orsino in “Lucrezia”. Her collaboration with Tietjens in Weber’s “Oberon” was renowned. She lived at 9 Marlborough Place.
37 Richard Wagner (1813-1883) The renowned German operatic composer who came to London in 1854 at the invitation of the Royal Philharmonic Society. He stayed at 22 Portland Terrace on Prince Albert Road.
38 Hans Wessely (1862-1926) was an Austrian violinist who made his debut in London at the Crystal Palace concerts in 1888. He became a professor at the RAM and was best known as a quartet player. The Quartet bearing his name performed annually until 1914. He lived at 14 (orig 4) Hamilton Terrace.
MUSICIANS & MUSIC MAKERS IN ST JOHN’S WOOD DURING THE 20TH CENTURY
39 Abbey Road Studios 3 Abbey Road was a private house until 1931 when it was bought by The Gramophone Recording Company, later EMI, who converted it into sound recording studios. Many famous classical recordings were first made here, later records of rock music and in the 1960s the Beatles made it famous again.
40 David Atherton OBE (1944- ) Is an English conductor and co-founder of the English Sinfonietta in 1967. In 1968 he became the youngest conductor to perform at the Royal Opera House and spent 12 years there. He lived at 44 Blenheim Terrace in 1980s.
41 George Baker (1885-1976) was an English singer, organist, lecturer and writer on music. He sang with the British National Opera and the Carl Rosa Opera companies, and was Treasurer and later Chairman of the Royal Philharmonic Society. He was married to the soprano
42 Olive Groves and in the 1950s they lived at 15 St Johns Wood Court, St Johns Wood Road.
43 Sir Thomas Beecham Bt, CH (1879-1961) The English conductor and impresario, best known for his founding of and association with the London Philharmonic and the Royal Philharmonic orchestras. From the early 20th century until his death Beecham was a major influence on the musical life of Britain. He lived with his first wife at 32 Upper Hamilton Terrace (1910-1912). He used his access to the family fortune to finance opera from the 1910s until the start of WW2, staging seasons at Covent Garden, Drury Lane and his Majesty’s Theatre. From 1947-48 he lived at 39 Circus Road and later (1950-54) at 31 Grove End Road with his second wife
44 Betty Humby (1908-58) an English pianist who won a scholarship to the RAM at the age of 10 and at 16 was piano professor under Myra Hess at Matthay’s music school. She was best known for her recording of Delius’ piano concerto, made in 1946 with Sir Thomas conducting.
45 Sir Arthur Bliss CH, KCVO (1891-1975) was an English conductor & composer, who was known as a modernist but in the 1920s-30s he became more traditional and romantic, composing also for films and ballet. In the Second World War, Bliss returned to England from the US to work for the BBC and became its director of music. After the war he resumed his work as a composer, and in 1953 he was made Master of the Queen’s Music. He lived at 8 The Lane, Marlborough Place.
46 Benjamin Britten OM, CH (1913-1976) was both an English pianist and a conductor, but he is best known as a composer – of songs, of orchestral works, of operas e.g. “Peter Grimes” and for his “War Requiem”. He lived at 45a St John’s Wood High Street from 1943-6 (see separate entry) and at 59c Marlborough Place (1958-63) with
47 Sir Peter Pears CBE( 1910-1986). An English tenor, he was co-founder with Britten of the Aldeburgh Festival and closely associated with Britten’s works, many roles being specially written for him e.g Vere in “Billy Budd” and Eschenbach in “Death in Venice”. He was knighted in 1978.
48 Geoffrey Burgon (1941-2010) A British composer best known for his TV and film scores. but he also achieved success with vocal, orchestral, concert and stage works. His “Requiem” at the Three Choirs Festival in 1976 led to many commissions.. He lived at 22 Woronzow Road.
49 John Christie CH, MC (1882-1962) was an English landowner and opera producer who founded the Glyndebourne Festival Opera in 1934 in his country mansion in Sussex, together with his wife, the Canadian soprano
50 Audrey Mildmay (1900-1953). In 1950 they lived at 58 Abbey Road.
51 Mme St John Mildmay Cipriani ( ) a member of the Society of Women Musicians who founded the Cipriani Prize in the 1970s. She lived at 54 Abbey Road.
52 Harriet Cohen CBE (1895-1967) An immensely gifted and beautiful English pianist who promoted contemporary British music. Many composers wrote specially for her including Arnold Bax with whom she had a 30 year relationship. He composed the Concertino for Left Hand for her in 1948 when she lost the use her left hand. In the 1930s she lived at 1a Abercorn Place.
53 Imogen Cooper CBE (1949 – ) An English pianist, the daughter of musicologist Martin Cooper, she is particularly known for her interpretations of Schubert and Schumann but is also a supporter of new music.. From 1949-1960 she lived at 51 Hamilton Terrace.
54 Sir Frederic (Hymen) Cowen (1852-1935) was a British pianist, conductor and a composer of operas, incidental music and choral works. A child prodigy he later studied in Leipzig and Berlin. His choral works, written for the numerous musical festivals around Victorian and Edwardian Britain, typify the public taste of his time. He directed four Cardiff Festivals also the Triennial Handel Festivals. He lived at 91 (formerly 52) Hamilton Terrace from 1904-12.
55 Ernest Bryant Crampton (1881-1941) A British composer of ‘light songs’ for the Crampton Concert Parties (seaside concerts). He wrote a series of “Gavotte Songs”, recording some by himself. Peter Dawson recorded some of his songs for HMV during the period 1913-17. He lived at 10 Queen’s Terrace.
56 Harold Craxton OBE (1885-1971) was an English pianist and composer. He studied at the Matthay Pianoforte School and then accompanied singers such as Melba, Clara Butt and John McCormack. He was professor at the RAM from 1919-1916. His songs were performed by Melchior and McCormack. He lived at Acomb House 8 Grove End Road where the youngest of his six offspring was
57 Janet Craxton (1929-1981) a distinguished oboist who gave world premieres of works by Vaughan Williams, Lennox Berkeley, Alan Rawsthorne and others. She married the composer Alan Richardson in 1961. Apart from playing in many of the London orchestras, as a soloist she gave world premieres of works by the leading British composers of her day.
58 Joan Cross (1900-1993) was an English soprano closely associated with the operas of Britten. In 1948 she founded, together with Anne Wood, the National Opera School. She later became director of the Sadlers Wells Opera Company. From 1948-1971 she lived at 2 Cavendish Avenue.
59 Ada Crossley ( 1874-1929) was an Australian singer who came to Europe in 1894 and studied under Sir Charles Santley.She first perfornmed at the Queen’s Hall in 1895 with immediate success. She held a leading place at music festivals and on the concert platform, also giving 5 command performances before Queen Victoria in two years. She lived at 3 Langford Place.
60 Henry Cummings FRAM (1906-1989) was an Irish baritone who studied at the Royal Academy of Music and after his career as a singer became Professor of Voice at the RAM. He married Norah Newby who was an accompanist and he lived at 52 Carlton Hill.
61 Edric Cundell CBE (1893-1961) was an English composer and conductor who studied the French horn at Trinity College London and joined its teaching staff in 1914. He was also active as a pianist and conductor of amateur groups. In 1938, after a good deal of conducting experience, notably at Glyndebourne, he became Principal of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in succession to the deceased Landon Ronald and conducted many student opera performances. He retired in 1958. As a composer he wrote orchestral, chamber music and many songs. In 1937 he was living at 3 Acacia Gardens.
62 Ben Davies (1858-1943) was a Welsh tenor who appeared in opera with the Carl Rosa Opera Company and in operetta and on the concert and oratorio platforms. After 1893 Davies’s career moved largely to the concert platform. In that year he performed at the Chicago World’s Fair. In the voyage concert of the Atlantic crossing his piano accompanist was a 14-year-old passenger, Thomas Beecham, travelling with his father. He lived in Abbey Road.
63 Pauline Donalda (1882-1970) was a Canadian soprano who made her debut at Covent Garden in 1905 singing many of the soprano leads and was the first to sing the roles of Concepcion in Ravel’s “L’Heure espagnole” and Ah-joe in Franco Leoni’s |”L’Oracolo” also at Covent Garden. She lived at 12 Langford Place.
64 Sir Edward Downes CBE (1924-2000) was an opera conductor, specializing in Verdi operas. He began a long and fruitful association with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 1952 with his appointment as an assistant to Rafael Kubelik. In 1950 he lived at 58 Abbey Road.
65 Noël Eadie (1901-1950) was a Scottish high soprano, making her debut at Covent Garden in 1926 in Das Rheingold. She was a celebrated ‘Queen of the Night’ at Covent Garden, Glyndebourne and Chicago. She lived at 8 Neville Court, Abbey Road.
66 Kathleen Ferrier (1912-1953) was the world famous English contralto who created the role of Lucretia in Britten’s opera “The Rape of Lucretia” and gave a memorable performance of Mahler’s “Das Lied von der Erde” at the Edinburgh Festival in 1947. She made two outstanding records, one of the operatic aria by Gluck Che faro senza Euridice and the other a Northumbrian folk song Blow the wind southerly. She lived in the Studio flat at 40 Hamilton Terrace for a few months in 1953 when dying of cancer, which cut short a brilliant career. Since 1956 an annual Kathleen Ferrier Awards competition has been held for young singers.
67 Gerald Finzi (1901-1956) An English composer of Italian/German parentage, best known as a composer of song cycles and choral works such as his Dies Natalis. He was born at 93 Hamilton Terrace, taught composition at the RAM (1930-33) but later spent his life in the west country.
68 Leonard N Fowles (1870-1939) was an English organist and choirmaster, composer, conductor and teacher who in 1904 became organist and choirmaster of the Presbyterian Church, now a private house, at 72a Carlton Hill.
69 Sir Edward German (1896-1936) was an English composer of Welsh descent, largely known for his incidental music for the stage, eg “Merrie England” and as a successor to Arthur Sullivan in the field of comic opera. In 1896 he moved to 5 Hall Road – “a quiet and secluded house and garden” and stayed there until 1921. The house has been demolished to make way for a block of flats.
70 Sir Eugene Goossens (1893-1962) was an English violinist, conductor and composer. He was a violinist in Thomas Beecham’s Queen’s Hall Orchestra from 1912 to 1915 before attracting attention as Beecham’s assistant conductor with a performance of Stanford’s opera The Critic (1916). He conducted in the US for 25 years. Towards the end of his troubled life he lived at 76 Hamilton Terrace.
71 Elizabeth Harbutt ( ) An Australian singer who won place in the chorus of the Royal Opera Company in 1946, later performing in “Rosenkavalier” under Kleiber in 1950. She lived at 58 Abbey Road.
72 Percy Heming (1883-1956) was an English baritone noted for his performance as Scarpia in “Tosca” but also known for his comic roles. He was appointed assistant director for the Royal Season at Covent Garden in 1937. He lived at 31e Abbey Road during the second world war and until his death.
73 Lily Henkel (1860-1936) was an English pianist who studied in Karlsruhe and Frankfurt with Clara Schumann. She was a chamber music specialist and in 1910 formed the Henkel Piano Quartet. She and her husband Victor, a grain merchant, lived at 45 Hamilton Terrace from 1911 until her death in 1936.
74 Dame Myra Hess (1890-1965) was a British pianist who was a child prodigy with her debut coming in 1907 when she played Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 4 with Sir Thomas Beecham conducting. She is now best remembered for her morale-boosting National Gallery concerts during WW2, her transcription of Bach’s chorale “Jesu, joy of man’s desiring” and her interpretations of Beethoven. She lived at 8 Carlton Hill from 1928 until she was bombed out when she moved to Cavendish Close.
75 Arthur Hinton (1869-1941) An English minor composer of orchestral, chamber, piano works, but perhaps best known as husband of the English pianist
76 Katharine Goodson (1872-1958) who was a pupil of Leschetizky. Her London debut took place on 16 January 1897 and the tours of Europe which followed placed her in the front rank of British female pianists of the era. She married Arthur Hinton in 1903 and they lived at 14 St Johns Wood Road.
77 Lord Mervyn Horder (1910-1997) was an English composer, the son and heir of the first Baron Horder, physician to the Royal Family. From 1946-70 he was chairman of the Duckworth publishing house. He composed numerous songs to words by Shakespeare, Herrick, Betjeman, Auden. He lived at 4 Hamilton Close until his death.
78 Margaret Hubicki MBE (1915-2006) An English composer who invented a system for helping dyslexic children to read music by colours. She pioneered it at the RAM where she had been a student and later a professor of harmony. She lived at 14 Abbey Gardens.
79 Walter Hyde (1875-1951) was an English tenor who started his career in musical comedy but soon moved to opera, replacing John McCormack in Liza Lehmann’s opera The Vicar of Wakefield. In 1908 he sang Siegmund in Wagner’s Ring and “Parsifal” at Covent Garden under Karl Richter. In 1933 he lived in St John’s Wood Park.
80 Max Jaffa OBE (1911-1991) Was a British light orchestral violinist and band leader who studied at the Guildhall School of Music where he won the Gold Medal. A versatile and accomplished musician, he went on to form the Palm Court Orchestra. He married the violinist Jean Gluckstein..
81 John Joel ((1913-2013) formed the Lynford-Joel agency and was agent for the baritone Tito Gobbi ( he also acted as best man at his wedding in 1960). He lived at 5 Hamilton Close.
82 Philip Jones CBE (1928-2000) An English trumpeter who founded the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble. In 1988 he became Principal of Trinity College of Music, and in 1995 he was made chairman of the Musicians Benevolent Fund. He lived at 14 Hamilton Terrace. see separate entry
83 Maria Korchinska (1895-1979) A harpist, she was Russian by birth but emigrated to London in 1926. In England, she had a great career as a performer and an advocate for the harp. Arnold Bax dedicated his 1927 Fantasy Sonata for Harp and Viola to her. She was the first harpist to play at the Glyndebourne Festival, in the 1930s, and performed in the premieres of several Benjamin Britten works including the Festival of Carols. She lived at 36 Greville Road.
84 Dora Labbette (1898-1984) was an English soprano who won the Gold Medal at the Guildhall School of Music in 1916, and became well-known as a ballad singer. In 1918 she married David Strang, son of William Strang, painter and etcher, living at 20 Hamilton Terrace. They soon separated and she continued her career, living at 70 Carlton Hill, later being ‘discovered’ by Sir Thomas Beecham who encouraged her to turn to opera singing which she did as Lisa Perli. She then lived at 44 Marlborough Hill.
85 Walter Legge (1906-1979) was an English classical record producer with EMI, He worked in the recording industry from 1927, combining this with the post of junior music critic of The Manchester Guardian. He was assistant to Sir Thomas Beecham at the Royal Opera ~House, Covent Garden, and in World War II played a role in bringing music to the armed forces and civilians. In 1941 he married
86 Nancy Evans (1916-2000) who was an English mezzo-soprano with a notable career as a concert and opera singer. She is particularly associated with Benjamin Britten who wrote his song cycle, A Charm of Lullabies, and the role of Nancy in his opera Albert Herring for her. They lived at 14 Mortimer Court, Abbey Road. (In 1953 he re-married, to soprano Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and they lived in Hampstead).
87 Raymond Leppard CBE (1927 – ) Is a British conductor and harpsichordist, known for his realizations of baroque music. In the 1960s he lived at 16 Hamilton Terrace where a fire destroyed many of his scores. His production of Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea was presented at the Glyndebourne Festival under his direction in 1962. In the following years he subsequently prepared more operas by Monteverdi, as well as operas by Francesco Cavalli. In the 1980s he moved to the United States.
88 Natasha Litvin (1919-2010) was a pianist, author and fierce defender of her husband, the poet Stephen Spender and his legacy. Aged 16 Natasha won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music and studied with Clifford Curzon and Arthur Benjamin. After the Second World War, she gave a concert at the former Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp to inmates who were recovering in its hospital wing. She was the soloist in the world’s first televised concert for the BBC. She lived at 15 Loudoun Road from 1945-2010.
89 Louise Kirkby Lunn (1873-1930) A leading contralto of her day, she appeared in opera as well as concert performances. She lived at 10 St Johns Wood Park. see separate entry
90 Edna May (Pettie ) (1878-1948) known on stage as Edna May, was an American actress and singer. A popular postcard beauty, she was famous for her leading roles in Edwardian musical comedies. In 1897, May played Violet Grey in The Belle of New York with only moderate success. But the following year the production played in London, becoming a hit and running for 697 performances, making May a star. She lived in Boundary Road and 29 Abbey Rd (1910)
91 Sir Robert Mayer CH (1849-1985) was a German-born banker and philanthropist, and a major supporter of music and young musicians. He married in 1919 the English soprano
92 Dorothy Moulton (circa 1886-1974) and he founded the Robert Mayer Concerts for Children in 1923. In 1935 they were living at 4c Langford Place and in 1938 at 5 Langford Close.
93 Sir Charles Mackerras CH, AC, CBE(1925-2010) was an Australian conductor who moved to London in 1947, then to Prague on a British Council scholarship with his wife
94 Judy Wilkins (1922-2014) who was a clarinettist. Charles Mackerras became an authority on Janacek and Mozart. He had a long association with Sadler’s Wells Opera, the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company and Welsh National Opera. He became honorary guest conductor of many of the world’s famous orchestras. He and Judy and their two daughters lived at 10 Hamilton Terrace from the 1960s until just before his death.
95 Sir Paul McCartney MBE (born 1942) is an English musician, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and composer. With John Lennon,, George Harrison and Ringo Starr he gained worldwide fame as a member of The Beatles and his songwriting partnership with Lennon is one of the most celebrated of the 20th century. After the band’s break-up, he pursued a solo career. He has had a home in Cavendish Avenue since 1966.
96 Lord Bernard Miles CBE (1907-1991) bought 43a Acacia Road in 1945 and made a theatre out of an old school hall in his back garden. This opened in 1951 with the renowned opera singer Kirsten Flagstad together with Maggie Teyte and Thomas Hemsley in Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas”. This 4-week season secured the finances for Miles to open the Mermaid Theatre in the City in 1959. see separate entry
97 Benno Moiseiwitsch CBE (1890-1963) A Ukrainian-born British pianist Moiseiwitsch was awarded a CBE in 1946 for his consistent contribution during the Second World War, performing hundreds of recitals to servicemen and charities. From 1959-1962 he lived at 46 Avenue Road.
98 Gerald Moore (1899-1987) Renowned as a piano accompanist of singers, a role he raised to equal partnership. He accompanied Kathleen Ferrier and from 1956-59 he and his wife lived in the same studio as she had done briefly at 40 Hamilton Terrace.
99 Agnes Nicholls (1877-1959) One of the leading sopranos of her day. (see separate entry). In 1904 she married
100 Sir Hamilton Harty (1879-1941) the Irish composer and conductor who was particularly noted as an interpreter of the music of Berlioz. From 1920 to 1933 he was the chief conductor of the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester, which he returned to the high standards and critical acclaim that it had enjoyed under its founder, Charles Hallé. His last permanent post was with the London Symphony Orchestra, but it lasted only two years, from 1932 to 1934. They lived at 37 St Johns Wood Road.
101 Boy George born George Alan O’Dowd (1961- ) is an English singer-songwriter who was part of the English New Romanticism movement which emerged in the early to mid 1980s. In the 1970s he lived in Abercorn Mews
102 Richard James Pitcher (1871- ? ) was a teacher of singing and an organist. Mus B, FRCO, ARCM, LRAM. He wrote “Recitative and its rendering, illustrated with numerous examples” in 1913. He lived at 21 Boundary Road from 1911-1928.
103 Roger Quilter (1877-1953) was an English composer, mainly of song settings of Tennyson and Shakespeare but also of light orchestral music . He studied in Frankfurt for 5 years with fellow students Percy Grainger and Cyril Scott. He lived and died at his home at 23 Acacia Road.
104 Karl Rankl ( 1895-1968) was a British conductor and composer of Austrian origin who came to Britain in 1939 and in 1946 was made musical director of the Covent Garden Opera Company which he built up from virtually nothing. He lived at 25 Acacia Road in 1940s.
105 Humphrey Searle (1915-1982) was an English composer and one of the foremost pioneers of serial music in the UK, though he also composed music for film and television and wrote humorous compositions for some of the Hoffnung Music Festivals. He lived in St Johns Wood Park and at the studio, 44 Ordnance Hill. see separate entry
106 Solomon (Cutner) CBE (1902-1988) was an English pianist who gave his first concert at the age of ten but in his teens retired from public performance for some years. He then had a brilliant career in which his playing was noted for its effortless virtuosity, respect for the score and a deep spirituality. This was sadly cut short in 1956 by a massive stroke and he never played again. He lived for a further 32 years until his death at 16 Blenheim Road.
107 Sir Arthur Somervell (1863-1937) was an English composer who was one of the influential writers of art song in the English music renaissance of the 1890s-1900s. He is now largely remembered for his song cycles from Tennyson’s “Maud” and Housman’s “A Shropshire Lad”. He lived at 105 Clifton Hill.
108 Phyllis Spurr (1910-1965) was best known as the accompanist who worked with Kathleen Ferrier and recorded a number of folksong settings with her. She lived at 147 Hamilton Terrace.
109 Dame Marie Tempest ( 1864-1942) was an English singer and actress known as “the queen of her profession”. She was the most famous soprano in late Victorian light opera and Edwardian musical comedy. Later she became a leading comic actress and toured widely in the US and elsewhere. She was instrumental in the founding of the actors’ union Equity in Britain. In 1898 she lived at 3 Langford Place, then in 1935 at 55 Avenue Road and in 1939 she was at 38 Avenue Close.
110 Dame Maggie Teyte (1888-1976) was an English operatic lyric soprano who is remembered for her Mozartian roles although she was also an interpreter of French music. Finding that her surname was generally mispronounced in France, she changed it from Tate to Teyte before joining the Opéra Comique in Paris. She was coached for the role of Melisande in Debussy’s “Pelleas et Melisande” by the composer. In 1910, Sir Thomas Beecham cast Teyte as Cherubino and as Mélisande and also as Blonde in Die Entführung aus dem Serail for his London season. After WW2 she lived at 42 Hamilton Terrace.
111 Mrs Emmie Tillett (1897-1982) was Director of the Ibbs and Tillett concert agency, the leading agency in Britain for the greater part of the 20th century. After the death of her husband John Tillett, she continued to run the firm, becoming one of the most formidable yet respected women in British music. She lived at 11 Elm Tree Road.
112 Lord Harewood (1903-2011) was an opera administrator, festival director and writer. He served as editor of Opera magazine from 1950 to 1953 and as director of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden from 1951 to 1953 and again from 1969 to 1972. He served as chairman of the board of the English National Opera (ENO) from 1986 to 1995, Managing Director of the ENO from 1972 to 1985and artistic director of the Edinburgh, Adelaide and Leeds Festivals. In the 1960s he lived at 121 Hamilton Terrace with the Australian violinist and fashion model
113 Patricia Tuckwell (1926- ) whom he married in the US in 1967, making her the Countess of Harewood.
114 Jennifer Vyvyan (1925-1974) was a British classical soprano who started as a piano student at the RAM but was persuaded to change courses. She was coached by Roy Henderson and then studied in Milan and Geneva. She became known for the opera roles she sang in Britten operas, although she also made a career in oratorio and concert performances. She lived at 137 Hamilton Terrace from 1953-1962.
115 George Weldon (1908-1963) was an English conductor associated with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra during WW2 and assistant to Sir John Barbirolli at the Hallé Orchestra. While in Manchester, Weldon took charge of the Hallé summer seasons of promenade concerts, and many industrial concerts around the north of England. He frequently conducted in London and abroad, made broadcasts and many records. He lived at 37 St Johns Wood Road. see separate entry
116 Christopher West (1913-1967) was an opera producer who in 1949 was assistant to Peter Brook at the Royal Opera House. and in 1955 produced Michael Tippett’s “Midsummer Marriage”. He later moved to the Met, New York. From 1950-1960 he lived in the basement flat at 53 Clifton Hill.
117 William Edward Whitehouse FRAM FRCM (1859-1935) was an English cellist who became a professor of violincello after studying at the RAM. He specialised in chamber music and taught many distinguished pupils including Felix Salmond and Beatrice Harrison and he played with Joachim. From 1908-1917 he lived at 5 (originally 54, then 89) Hamilton Terrace.
118 Marc Wilkinson (1929 – ) is an Australian composer for theatre and films, e.g. “The Royal Hunt of the Sun” (1964) and “Equus” (1973. He now lives in France but from 1959-1972 he lived at 21 St Ann’s Terrace.
119 Dr Florence Windebank (1902- ) was a music specialist in a training college with a lifelong interest in singing who became recognised by the E G White Society as one of their teachers of ‘sinus tone production’. She was born at 52 Blenheim Terrace. see separate entry
120 Anne Wood ( -1998) was a contralto, teacher and opera administrator who in 1948 became artistic director of the English Opera Group. She shared a home at 59 Marlborough Place with
121 Joanna Peters (1932-2000) who was a Scottish mezzo soprano who sang with Britten’s English Opera Group and was later head of Vocal Studies at the Guildhall School of Music. Together they formed the Phoenix Opera.
122 Lady Jessie Wood (1882-1979) was the companion of the famous conductor Sir Henry Wood. In 1934 he began a happy relationship with a widowed former pupil. Jessie Linton, who had sung for him frequently in the past under her professional name of Jessie Goldsack. As he was not free to re-marry, she changed her name by deed poll to Lady Jessie Wood and was generally assumed by the public to be Wood’s wife. Some time after his death in 1944 she lived at 72 Hamilton Terrace.
123 Billy Fury, born Ronald Wycherley (1940-1983) was an internationally successful English pop singer from the late 1950s to mid 1960s and remained an active songwriter until the 1980s. He lived and died in Cavendish Avenue and his funeral was held at St Johns Wood Church.
More musicians but not marked on map
124 Mark Raphael (1900 -1988) born Harris Furstenfeld of Polish Jewish immigrant parents, he became a baritone singer and in 1923 he met Roger Quilter who encouraged him and worked with him. He was principally a lieder singer having been taught by Raimund von Zur Muhlen. From 1931- 1966 he lived at 19 Woronzow Road and from 1967-1984 at 7 St John’s Wood Terrace.
125 Gwen Catley (1906 – 1996) was an English coloratura soprano who sang in opera, concert and revues. She studied at the Guildhall School of Music where she won the Gold Medal. In 1937 she sang with Sadler’s Wells Opera and during WW2 with the Carl Rosa Opera Company where she stayed until 1957. She was married to the cellist Allen Ford and they lived at 39 Queen’s Grove in the 1960s, later retiring to Italy. Later she returned to Britain to teach.
126 Sir Georg Solti KBE (1912 – 1997) was a Hungarian orchestral and operatic conductor who as a Jew found refuge in Switzerland during WW2. After the war he worked in Germany before coming to Covent Garden in 1961 as musical director. In 1967 he married Valerie Pitts and they lived at 17 Woronzow Road. He became a British citizen in 1972.
127 Ilona Kabos (1893-1973) was a Hungarian -British pianist married to her fellow Hungarian pianist, Louis Kentner and they lived at 43 Queen’s Grove but divorced in 1945. In 1942 they gave the world premiere in London of Bartok’s Concerto for two pianos and percussion. She is best remembered as a teacher of other pianists.
128 Harold Beck (1907 ? – ?) was a New Zealand cellist who in the 1950s was principal cellist of the Hallé Orchestra. He performed the Delius Cello Concerto in 1953 with Barbirolli and the Hallé. In 1956 he became principal cellist of the London Symphony Orchestra. In the 1950s he lived at 96 Carlton Hill, later moving to 60 Carlton Hill.
129 Isobel Baillie DBE (1895-1983) was a Scottish soprano who was regarded as one of the 20th century’s great oratorio singers. She gave more than 1,000 performances of Handel’s Messiah and she often sang with Kathleen Ferrier in this work. In the 1960s she lived at 3 Langford Close.
130 Franz Osborn (1905-1955) was a Britsh pianist of German birth who studied piano with Schnabel, composition with Schreker and conducting with Fritz Busch. He left Germany in 1933 and married June Capel but was interned during the war. In the 1950s until his death they lived at the Manor House, 6 Abercorn Place.
131 Gervase de Peyer (1926 – 2017 ) was a London-born clarinettist and conductor who studied at the Royal College of Music. From 1956 – 1973 he was principal clarinettist of the London Symphony Orchestra, chosen by their then conductor, Josef Krips. In the late 1960s he married for a second time and lived in Langford Place in the house next door to Dame Laura Knight.
132 Cyril Scott (1879-1970) was an English composer, writer and poet.At the age of 12 he was sent to Frankfurt to study music with Humperdinck where his classmates were Percy Grainger, Roger Quilter and Balfour Gardiner. He was a late romantic composer, writing around 400 works. In 1921 he married Rose Laure Allitini and they had two children. From 1927- 1933 they lived at 33, now re-numbered to 86 Hamilton Terrace.
133 Hamish MacCunn (1868-1916) was a Scottish composer. When barely fifteen he won a scholarship to the newly-established RCM.. He married Alison Pettie in 1889 at the St John’s Wood Presbyterian Church, Marlborough Place. In 1894 he was commissioned by the Carl Rosa Company to write an opera – “Jeanie Deans”. In 1903 they lived at 6 Abbey Court, Abbey Road.