By the Musical Way #5


Who were these energetic Victorians, sharing identical dates: 1820-1900?

One was a prolific writer on music. He was a close friend of Arthur Sullivan. Together they visited Vienna to research their musical hero, Franz Schubert. Their prize was the discovery of the hitherto unknown incidental music to Rosamunde, including the now famous overture. Having been active in the development of the Crystal Palace Orchestra, he mounted the world première of Schubert’s Great C Major Symphony. He became the first Director of the Royal College of Music and wrote the first comprehensive Musical Dictionary.

The other was a civil engineer whose varied career took him to the West Indies, where he oversaw the building of cast-iron lighthouses. On his return to the UK he joined the Chester and Holyhead Railway Company, helping to construct the bridge over the Menai Strait, thus connecting Anglesey to the British mainland. As an architect, his best surviving building is Chester railway station. He was a friend of Robert Stephenson, Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Sir Charles Barry. Living in Sydenham in South London, he was closely involved in the creation of the Crystal Palace for the great Exhibition of 1851.

Both were George Grove.