by Walter Wallis
oil on canvas, 1881
10 1/8 in. x 8 1/8 in. (256 mm x 205 mm) overall
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Samuel Coleridge-Taylor was the son of a doctor from Sierra Leone and an English mother. As a child he learnt the violin and sung in the church choir and in 1890 entered the Royal College of Music to study the violin and composition. He was still a student when his works began to be played in public, one of which was Hiawatha's Wedding Feast, the first part of his Hiawatha trilogy, a treatment of Longfellow's verse (1898). The completed trilogy brought him an international reputation. A composer of opera, orchestral, church and chamber music Coleridge-Taylor also wrote incidental music for the romantic plays at His Majesty's Theatre. In 1904 he was appointed conductor of the Handel Society, a post he combined with his role as a music teacher in Croydon, the town where he lived and died.
Linked publicationsback to top
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- Samuel Coleridge-Taylor 1875-1912 Centenary (17 July 2012 - 17 March 2013)
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1881back to top
Current affairsBenjamin Disraeli dies of bronchitis. He refuses a state funeral and is buried next to his wife, Mary Ann Viscountess Beaconsfield.
Gladstone's Irish Land Act is passed in a bid to stop violence carried out by the republican Land League, conducted in protest at the 1870 Land Act.
Henry Mayers Hyndman forms the Marxist Democratic Federation.
Art and scienceThe Natural History Museum is opened on Exhibition Road, South Kensington. The museum, a landmark gothic design by the architect Alfred Waterhouse, was built to house specimens from the natural sciences, previously in the British Museum's collection. Today, the museum comprises of over 70 million items, and is a world-renowned research centre.
InternationalAlexander II is assassinated in a bomb attack by members of a left-wing revolutionary movement. He was succeeded by his son, Tsar Alexander III.
US President James Garfield is shot by Charles Guiteau.
The first Anglo-Boer war ends. The war is started by a Boer uprising, as the British had annexed the Transvaal in 1877. Following Britain's defeat at the Battle of Majuba Hill, a truce is signed giving the Boers self-government and later independence.