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Leeds Music People
Sir John Barbirolli
Born in London 2.12.1899, died London 29.7.1970.
English Conductor. Conducted tours of British National Opera Company and Covent Garden Opera Company including the latter's season at Leeds Theatre Royal in 1929. Barbirolli was appointed principal conductor of the (professional) Leeds Symphony Orchestra in 1933. He succeeded Toscanini as principal conductor of the New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra in 1937. He returned to England to become permanent conductor of the Halle Orchestra in 1943. Barbirolli conducted his 'beloved Halle' in Leeds Town Hall on many occasions until the year before his death. These included the Triennial festivals of 1947 and 1950. Barbirolli also conducted the Halle in the first Leeds performances of Mahler symphonies 5,6 and 7.

Sir Thomas Beecham
Born St Helens, Lancs. 29.4.1879 died London 8.3.1961. Conductor and Impresario. Formed the Beecham Opera Company, which toured the provinces in the 1920s including Leeds Grand, and Theatre Royal. He conducted the Wagner Ring Cycle at Leeds Grand (Denhof Opera Company) in 1913. Beecham was the most celebrated British conductor of the inter-war and post-Second World War period until his death in 1961. He founded the London Philharmonic Orchestra (1932) and the Royal Philharmonic (1947). He was principal conductor of the Leeds Triennial Festivals of 1928, 1931, 1934, 1937, 1950. Works he conducted at the festivals included: Bach's St Matthew Passion, Berlioz' Grand Messe des Morts, Rossini's Petite Messe Solemnelle, Delius' A Mass of Life.

Sir William Sterndale Bennett
Born in Sheffield 13.4.1816, died London 1.2.1875.
Pianist, Composer and Conductor. Student at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Went to Leipzig where he made friends with Mendelssohn. Schubert dedicated his Etudes Symphoniques to Bennett. Professor of Music at Cambridge University 1856-75. Principal of the RAM 1866-75. He composed his cantata, the May Queen, for the 1858 Musical Festival staged to mark the opening of the Leeds Town Hall and conducted its world premiere there.

Ernest Bradbury
Born in Leeds 3.3.1919, died 18.11.1994. Bradbury was chief music critic for the Yorkshire Post from 1947 until his retirement in 1984. He also wrote for 'Music and Musicians' and the 'Times', concert programme notes for Leeds and (during the 1950s) the BBC Henry Wood Promenade Concerts. In 1966 Bradbury was awarded the Hannen Swaffer Award for consistently high standards of music criticism. He was renowned for his elegant writing style, acerbic wit and forthright views.

Sydney Errington
Born Leeds 1905, died Leeds 1980. Viola player.
He studied at the old Leeds College of Music, later becoming a favourite pupil of the great Lionel Tertis. Errington eventually joined the (professional) Leeds Symphony Orchestra as principal violist. In 1928 he became a member of the Halle Orchestra and was appointed principal violist, a position he occupied with distinction throughout the Barbirolli era from 1943-1970.  He married Edward Maude's daughter Barbara, an accomplished amateur cellist, in 1939. The couple chose to remain in Leeds and Errington calculated that he had motored some 800,000 miles from the family home in Hyde Park to Halle concerts in Manchester and elsewhere. Ill health forced his retirement from the Halle in 1970. Sydney Errington's artistry rescued the viola from its "cinderella status" in the symphony orchestra and brought the instrument into the limelight. He was frequently dubbed the "Northern Tertis" after his legendary former tutor.

David Greed
Born 1953, violinist, orchestra leader, conductor.
David Greed was just 25 years old when he was appointed leader of the Orchestra of Opera North in 1978. He was at that time the youngest orchestra leader in the country. Greed has led the orchestra with great distinction at virtually every Opera North performance and at its regular concert engagements in Leeds Town Hall and other prestigious venues in the UK and abroad. He has appeared as guest leader with such orchestras as the Philharmonia, Halle, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. An extensive solo repertoire includes the major romantic concertos and many smaller scale works.

Greed's influence on the City's burgeoning music scene embraces the amateur orchestral movement. He has for the past 12 years been music director of the Sinfonia of Leeds. This fruitful period has witnessed the Sinfonia's transformation from a chamber orchestra to a full symphony orchestra whose performances have attracted critical acclaim.

George Lascelles KBE
7th Earl of Harewood

Born London 7th Feb 1923, died  Harewood House, Leeds 11th July 2011.
Founder of Opera North, Artistic Director of Leeds Triennial (later biennial) Musical Festival 1958-74.

George Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood from 23rd May 1947 until his death, played a significant role in the development of musical activity in Leeds and nationally. Lord Harewood founded Opera Magazine in 1950 and was the editor of Kobbe's Complete Opera Book and Kobbe's Pocket Opera Book which he co-edited with his step-son Michael Shmith. Lord Harewood's career in opera management began at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden where he served on the board of directors(1951- 53 and 1969-72) and as controller of opera planning (1953- 60). Lord Harewood served as artistic director of Edinburgh International Festival from 1961- 65.
From 1972 - 84 he held the post of managing director of English National Opera and in 1977 established the new company - English National Opera North (later Opera North) at Leeds Grand Theatre.

Tom Jenkins
Born Leeds 1910 died London 1957, violinist.
Tom Jenkins was educated at Morley Grammar School, studied the violin with Edward Maude and made his first broadcast at the age of 14 from the BBC's Leeds studio. A further period of study with Carl Flesch in London led to his Royal Albert Hall debut in the Brahms Violin Concerto, conducted by Malcolm Sargent. In 1947, Sir Thomas Beecham wanted Jenkins to be leader of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

It was however, in music of a lighter vein that the artistry of Tom Jenkins became known to millions. In 1946, he succeeded Albert Sandler as leader of the Palm Court Orchestra; their weekly broadcasts from the Grand Hotel, Eastbourne, made Jenkins a household name. He was voted by Daily Mail readers as their favourite musical personality in 1953. Jenkins left the Palm Court to become Resident Conductor of the Scarborough Spa Orchestra for the 1954/55 seasons.

His death from lung cancer at the early age of 46 deprived the musical world of one of the most gifted and popular violinists of the day. Sadly, there exists only a small recorded legacy with which to remember him. He can be seen to the left of Edward Maude in the photograph further up the page of the presentation to Edward Maude by John Barbirolli.

Simon Lindley
Born London October 10th 1948
organist and conductor
He was educated at Magdalen College School, Oxford and later studied at the Royal College of Music.  He made his BBC Proms debut in 1975 - a performance of the Elgar Sonata.  In the same year, Lindley was appointed Organist and Master of the Music at Leeds Parish Church and in 1976, Leeds City Organist. In both capacities he has made many distinguished recordings.   During the 1970s and 80s, he was Chorus Master of Halifax Choral Society and Leeds Philharmonic Society.  Since 1988, Lindley has combined his Leeds Parish Church and City Organist appointments with that of Senior Assistant Music Officer for Leeds International Concert Season. In this capacity, he is not only actively involved in the promotion and management of the City Council's prestigious music programme, but also writes the excellent concert programme notes.
Simon Lindley is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists and served as President of the College from 2000-2003. He holds Fellowships of the Trinity College of Music, Leeds College of Music (Honorary Fellow), the Guild of Church Musicans and the Royal School of Church Music. He has directed the St Peter's Singers - based at Leeds Parish Church - since the choir's formation in 1977.   Other current appointments are as conductor of Leeds College of Music choral Society and Overgate Hospice Choir in Halifax.   In 2001, Leeds Metropolitan University conferred upon Simon Lindley an Honorary Doctorate in recognition of his outstanding services to the musical and civic life of his adopted city.

David Lloyd-Jones
Born London 19.11.1934.  English Conductor.  Well known both as an opera and concert conductor, he has appeared with most of the major British orchestras and at Covent Garden, Scottish Opera, Welsh National Opera and English National Opera, where he was Assistant Music Director.  In 1977 Lloyd-Jones was appointed founder Music Director of Opera North (then English National Opera North) and principal conductor of the company's orchestra, then known as the English Northern Philharmonia.  From the outset, he established high artistic standards and by 1981 had successfully steered the company to full independence from it's London based parent, English National Opera.  During his thirteen years as Music Director Lloyd-Jones conducted an astonishing 50 operas including Borodin's 'Prince Igor', the world premiere of Wilfred Joseph's 'Rebecca', Delius' 'A Village Romeo and Juliet', Richard Strauss' 'Salome', 'Daphne' and 'Der Rosenkavalier', Michael Tippett's 'The Midsummer Marriage' and Wagner's 'The Mastersingers of Nuremberg' and 'The Flying Dutchman'.

Nikolai Malko
Born in Brailov 4.5.1883, died Sydney 22.6.1961.
Russian Conductor. Became conductor of the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra in 1926. Was appointed principal conductor of the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra 1954-55. Malko was a colourful figure who enjoyed great success with the YSO during his brief term but his appointment probably came too late to save the orchestra. When the decision was made to disband the YSO, Malko cancelled his remaining concerts with the orchestra and vowed never to conduct in Leeds again. He was principal conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra from 1957-1961.

Edward Maude
Born Leeds 24.4.1880, died Leeds 23.2.1967.
Orchestra Leader, Conductor, Administrator and Violin teacher. A pupil of distinguished Yorkshire violinist John Dunn, Edward Maude began playing the violin at the age of eight and went on to become one of the most influential forces in Leeds music making throughout the first half of the Twentieth Century. By the age of sixteen, he had joined the orchestra of the Leeds Symphony Society, later becoming its paid leader. Maude was a shareholder and member of the (professional) Leeds Symphony Orchestra (re-named the Northern Philharmonic in 1935) for 39 years, for most of that time as leader. He served as the orchestra's secretary from 1912-1944 and from 1926 became, effectively, general administrator responsible for the management of the Northern Philharmonic's concerts in Leeds and elsewhere.  Maude was also conductor of the Yorkshire String Players from 1940-1956.

Equally inflential in amateur music circles, Maude conducted a 30 strong string ensemble made up of fine Leeds amateur musicians, the Edward Maude String Orchestra.He led the augmented orchestra for the annual Leeds Parish Church performance of Bach's St Matthew Passion for nearly 40 years. For 14 years Edward Maude was president of the Leeds Music Club, a society of which he and his wife, Olive Maude, were co-founders in 1932. His reputation as a teacher attracted pupils from far and wide and he was a violin tutor at Leeds Grammar School, Roundhay School and Silcoates School, Wakefield. Edward Maude's colleague and great friend, Sir John Barbirolli, described him as "a very remarkable man and musician" at a Metropole Hotel dinner given in the violinist's honour on December 9th,1954.

Maurice Miles
Born 1908, died 26th June 1985. Conductor. Miles conducted the Northern Philharmonic in several of its Leeds concerts in 1945/46 and was appointed principal conductor of the newly formed Yorkshire Symphony in 1947 remaining in that post until 1954. He continued to champion the music of British composers in many of his YSO programmes and directed a Festival of British Music in Leeds in 1951 (Festival of Britain year).

Sir Malcolm Sargent
Born in Stamford 29.4.1895, died London 3.10.1967.
Conductor. In 1928 he became chief conductor of the Royal Choral Society and from 1950-57 chief conductor of the BBC Symphony orchestra. Sargent was assistant conductor to Thomas Beecham at the Triennial Musical Festivals of 1931 and 1934. He conducted the world premiere of William Walton's cantata, Belshazzer's Feast, at the 1931 Festival. Sargent was principal conductor of Leeds Philharmonic Society from 1949 until his death. Indelibly associated with the Henry Wood Promenade Concerts from 1947-67, he also made frequent appearances conducting the Northern Philharmonic Orchestra and guest conducted the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra. He excelled in choral works such as Edward Elgar's 'The Dream of Gerontius'.. Sargent's nickname of 'Flash Harry', not always meant charitably by orchestral musicians, doubtless owed much to his sartorial elegance, the indispensable white carnation buttonhole and raven black brylcreemed hair which he retained until his death from cancer at the age of 72.

Alderman F.R. Spark (JP)
Born in 1831, died 1919, printer, publisher & wholesale stationer. Concert and recital promoter in Leeds, Town Hall Secretary and from 1867-1907 Secretary of Leeds Triennial Festival. He was also a baritone member of the Festival Chorus. Frequently held recital soirees at his elegant Georgian town house, 29 Hyde Terrace, Leeds 6 and in the Alexandra Hall, Cookridge St. Spark was full of good works, promoting concerts for the Leeds Orphan Funds and the General Infirmary. New artistes were introduced to Leeds at Spark's 'At Homes'. The premises, which housed his printing, bookbinding and publishing business, still exist at the corner of Cookridge Street and Great George Street. It is now known as the Chorley Pickersgill Building.

Dr William Spark
Born Exeter 1824  died Leeds 1897. Organist, conductor and composer.
One of the most influential figures in Leeds music during the second half of the 19th Century, Spark's first Leeds appointment was in 1842 as deputy organist to Samuel Sebastian Wesley at Leeds Parish church; then organist and choirmaster at Chapeltown Church and from 1850, organist at St George's Church.

From the opening of the Town Hall in 1858, Spark was appointed Borough (later City) Organist and held this post for nearly forty years. He designed the Hall's grand organ in conjunction with Henry Smart and inaugurated the Tuesday afternoon and Saturday night organ recitals.

He founded the Leeds Madrigal and Motet Society and the Leeds Recreation Society. The latter organisation managed the popular People's Concerts in the Albion Street Music Hall from 1852-59.

In 1864 Spark formed a 45-strong orchestra made up of local amateurs and professionals, plus section principals from the Halle and Liverpool Philharmonic, to give regular Wednesday subscription concerts in the Town Hall. Dr Spark conducted the orchestra's inaugural concert on 9th November 1864. He took an active part in establishing the Leeds Triennial Musical Festival and was principal organist at several festivals.

Dr Spark was also a prolific composer and arranger of works for his Town Hall recitals.  His largest composition, the oratorio 'Immanuel' received its first performance in the Town Hall under the composer's baton in 1890.

Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan
Born in London 13.5.1842, died London 22.9.1901. Conductor and Composer. Most remembered for his celebrated partnership with librettist W.S. Gilbert, together they created the Savoy Operas. Sullivan composed his oratorio The Golden Legend for the 1886 Leeds Triennial Festival. He was principal conductor of seven Triennial Festivals from 1880-1898.

Mrs Sunderland nee Susannah Sykes
Born Brighouse 30.4.1819 died Brighouse 6.5.1905.
Soprano. The daughter of a gardener, Susannah Sykes was discovered by accident, encouraged to join the Halifax Choral Society and after a first concert appearance at Bradford in 1838, given a few months training in London. She married Henry Sunderland in 1838 and was generally known as Mrs Sunderland although she has been referred to as Susan Sunderland or Susannah Sunderland. She at first sang only in Yorkshire, but in 1849 was soprano soloist in a London performance of Messiah and continued to sing in the capital until 1856. Dubbed 'Yorkshire's Queen of Song', Sunderland continued to make frequent concert appearances in her home county, particularly at the Albion Street Music Hall and the recently opened Town Hall. She retired from singing in public in 1864 at the relatively early age of 46. She is still commemorated today by the Mrs Sunderland Musical Competition in Huddersfield.

Herbert Thompson
Born in Hunslet in Leeds 11.8.1856, died 6.5.1945.
Chief music critic for the Leeds Mercury/Yorkshire Post 1886-1936. Thompson also became Yorkshire Correspondent of the Musical Times and contributed copiously to the programme notes for the Leeds Triennial and other festivals. He wrote a study of Richard Wagner (published 1927) and edited several other musical works and contributed to the Groves Dictionary of Music.

Dame Fanny Waterman DBE
Born Leeds 22nd March 1920
Piano teacher and co-founder of Leeds International Piano Competition.

From the age of 17, Fanny Waterman studied pianoforte with the renowned teacher Tobias Mattay and soon began to give public performances. She opened the Leeds Symphony Society's 1941 season and later gave recitals in Leeds Corporation's Lunchtime Series at the City Museum in Park Row. Waterman won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music and studied there under Cyril Smith. In 1944 she married Dr Geoffrey de Keyser and with the arrival of the couple's first child in 1950, decided to give up her concert career and concentrate on teaching. In 1961 along with her great friend, the then Countess of Harewood (later Marion Thorpe) herself a former concert pianist,  and Dr de Keyser, Fanny Waterman co- founded the Leeds International Piano Competition. Dame Fanny is now artistic director of "the Leeds" and for every competition since 1981 has been chairman of the international jury. Fanny Waterman and Marion Thorpe's popular "Me and My Piano" volumes of tutor books for beginners have sold more than two million copies. Waterman was appointed OBE in 1971, CBE in 2001, and DBE in the 2005 New Year Honours. The University of Leeds conferred upon her an Honorary Doctorate of Music in 1992, and in 2006 she was given the Freedom of the City of Leeds.  

Samuel Sebastian Wesley
Born London 14.8.1810 died Gloucester 19.4.1876.
Organist and Composer. Illegitimate son and pupil of organist, composer and conductor Samuel Wesley (1766-1837). Samuel Sebastian was a choirboy in the Chapel Royal from 1820 and by 1830 had held the posts of organist at 3 London churches. In 1832 he became organist of Hereford Cathedral, and in 1835, of Exeter Cathedral. From 1842-1849 he was organist of Leeds Parish Church. His compositions include 5 church services, 24 anthems, hymn tunes and 2 settings of 'By the Waters of Babylon'.

Elsie Suddaby
Born  Leeds January 5th,1893. Died Radlett, Hertfordshire April 24th 1980. Soprano.
One of the leading British lyric sopranos of the inter-World War years, Suddaby was educated at Lawnswood High School and went on to study with conductor Sir Edward Bairstow. She was later dubbed "the Lass with the Delicate Air" - after the title of one of the most popular songs in her repertoire.
Suddaby sang with the Edward Maude String Orchestra in the Leeds Tercentenary concert of 1926 in the Great Hall of Leeds University. Her performances at the Leeds Triennial Festival of 1928 included Haydn's The Seasons and Sir Hubert Parry's oratorio, Job. Suddaby was one of the original sixteen soloists in the world premiere performance of Vaughan Williams' Serenade to Music, given at the Henry Wood Promenade Concerts at London's Queen's Hall in 1938. The solo line set for Suddaby's voice was: "I am never merry when I hear sweet music". In 1945, she created the soprano part in Vaughan Williams' Song of Thanksgiving (Thanksgiving for Victory) which she also recorded with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Henry Wood. In 1946, Suddaby featured in the opening broadcasts of the BBC Third Programme (now Radio 3). Her numerous recordings include Handel's Messiah conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham (his second Messiah recording) and songs by Arne, Handel, Schubert, Mendelssohn and many others. In 1954, she performed solo pieces at the concert given in Leeds Town Hall to celebrate the centenary of her old school, Lawnswood High. An artists' room backstage at the Town Hall is named after Elsie Suddaby -one of Leeds' and Yorkshire's "Queens of Song".

The Haddocks - an influential Leeds musical family
George Haddock
violinist & teacher
Born Leeds 1823   Died Leeds 1907
George Haddock studied violin under R.A Brown, a professor of music in Leeds, and Joseph Bywater a Leeds violinist. He continued his studies in London under Vieuxtemps and Molique. Haddock became a noted violin teacher in the Leeds & Bradford area - the young Frederick Delius was one of his advanced students. Haddock composed for the violin and was the author of Popular School for the Violin. He owned a collection of fine violins and cellos made by Antonio Stradivari and Guaneri. Haddock was the leader of the orchestra for the concerts given in the Music Hall in Albion Street. He and his eldest brother Thomas Haddock, a cellist, instituted chamber concerts at Waltons Music Salon, a 400 seat music room which opened in 1837 in South Parade. Concerts were given by some of the greatest instrumentalists and singers of the day. The Beethoven Quartets received their first Yorkshire performances and some of Mendelssohn's quartets were presented for the first time in England at these concerts.

Edgar Haddock
violinist, teacher and composer
Born Leeds 1860. Died Leeds 1926.
Son of George Haddock who taught him music. From 1885, Edgar and his brother George Percy Haddock organised musical evenings in the Coliseum Concert Hall, Cookridge Street. These included performances by such renowned singers as Adeline Patti, Simms Reeves, Clara Butt and Louisa Tetrazzini. On 13th January 1891, Edgar Haddock (violin) and the distinguished Spanish composer and pianist Isaac Albeniz gave a recital. In 1894 Edgar Haddock founded and became the first Principal of the original Leeds College of Music, an establishment which developed into the Yorkshire College of Music and Drama (now situated in St Mark's Avenue). Edgar's brother, George Percy Haddock, was a director of the college. Edgar Haddock has composed a number of technical studies for the violin and transcribed arrangements of other compositions for the instrument.

Thomas Haddock   
violinist
Born Leeds 1812. Died 1893.
Thomas was George Haddock's eldest brother and Edgar's uncle: he settled in Liverpool and was for many years, principal cellist of the Liverpool Philharmonic Society.  

George Marston Haddock
teacher, lecturer and choral director
Born  Leeds 27th January 1902. Died  Boulder City, USA, April 1st 1970.
Son of  Edgar Haddock, he eventually succeeded his father as Principal of Leeds College of Music. In 1932 George Marston Haddock, together with Edward Maude and his wife Olive, founded Leeds Music Club. The organisation is still alive and flourishing over eighty years later.


Click images to enlarge
Sir John Barbirolli
Sir John Barbirolli
Programme for the Halle Orchestra, 1957
Programme for the Halle Orchestra, 1957
Sir Thomas Beecham
Sir Thomas Beecham
Programme for the May Queen, 1858 festival
Programme for the May Queen, 1858 festival
Ernest Bradbury
Ernest Bradbury
Sydney Errington
Sydney Errington
Obituary for Sydney Errington
Obituary for Sydney Errington
Simon Lindley
Simon Lindley
David Lloyd-Jones
David Lloyd-Jones
Nikolai Malko
Nikolai Malko
Edward Maude, c1954
Edward Maude, c1954
Sir John Barbirolli making a presentation to Edward Maude, 10th December 1954
Sir John Barbirolli making a presentation to Edward Maude, 10th December 1954
Association of Leeds Professional Musicians, 19th July 1907. Edward Maude first left.
Association of Leeds Professional Musicians, 19th July 1907. Edward Maude first left.
Leeds Symphony Orchestra, 28th May 1910, gathered for a performance of the Toy Symphony. Edward Maude - front row, fourth from left.
Leeds Symphony Orchestra, 28th May 1910, gathered for a performance of the Toy Symphony. Edward Maude - front row, fourth from left.
Obituary for Edward Maude
Obituary for Edward Maude
Maurice Miles
Maurice Miles
Sir Malcolm Sargent
Sir Malcolm Sargent
F R Spark
F R Spark
Dr William Spark
Dr William Spark
Town Hall organ designed by Henry Smart and William Spark
Town Hall organ designed by Henry Smart and William Spark
Inaugural concert programme, 9th November 1864
Inaugural concert programme, 9th November 1864
Sir Arthur Sullivan
Sir Arthur Sullivan
Concert party, Mrs Sullivan seated left, c1860
Concert party, Mrs Sullivan seated left, c1860
Programme with Herbert Thompson's annotations
Programme with Herbert Thompson's annotations
Fanny Waterman
Fanny Waterman
Samuel Sebastian Wesley
Samuel Sebastian Wesley
Elsie Suddaby
Elsie Suddaby




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