Prince Regent’s cello heads to Brighton Dome for special concert
27 Oct 2015
311-year-old instrument is played at Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra concert.
A cello once owned and played by the Prince Regent, later King George IV, is to feature in Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra’s November concert at Brighton Dome. The instrument, made in Naples in 1704 by Alessandro Gagliano, was allegedly given to George as a gift by the King of Spain. Considered a “very superior” player of the cello, the Prince Regent studied with the leading cellist of the day, John Crosdill, with the instrument itself kept at the Royal Pavilion.
Whilst little is known about Gagliano, the instrument itself was the subject of an article titled ‘Fit for a king’ by John Dilworth in The Strad in 1997. Dilworth wrote that the instrument ‘has a living quality which changes with the light, the season and the time of day’ and describes the wood, workmanship and tone as being of ‘the highest order, a level which Gagliano did not always maintain’.
The cello may have been one of the number of instruments in the possession of the Royal Family that were sold around 1913 as a contribution to the war effort. It came into the possession of Hills of London, who restored the instrument and retained it in their collection until it was bought in 1941 by Boris Rickelman, Principal Cellist with the London Philharmonic. Since then it has been in the hands of a number of players.
The instrument heads back to Brighton courtesy of the exciting young cellist Gemma Rosefield, who joins Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra on Sunday 8 November 2015 to perform Tchaikovsky’s “Variations on a Rococo Theme”. The concert starts at 2.45pm, with a pre-concert interview with Gemma on stage taking place at 1.45pm. In addition to the “Rococo Variations”, the programme includes Elgar’s “Sanguine Fan” and Schubert’s “Symphony No.9 – the Great”.
For more information and tickets, click here.