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Sir Henry Wood with Promenade Concert Performers

1 portrait of Friedrich Adolf Borsdorff

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© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Sir Henry Wood with Promenade Concert Performers

by William Whiteley Ltd
albumen cabinet card, circa 1897
5 in. x 8 in. (128 mm x 204 mm)
Purchased, 2013
Primary Collection
NPG P1837

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Events of 1897back to top

Current affairs

Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee is marked by a series of celebratory events, and attended by eleven colonial prime ministers following the Colonial Secretary Joseph Chamberlain's proposal that the Jubilee be made a festival of the British Empire.
The Workmen's Compensation Act gives workmen a right to a limited compensation in every case of injury by accident arising from the course of employment; it is a landmark piece of legislation in employment law.

Art and science

Bram Stoker's Dracula is first published.
Henry Tate of the Tate and Lyle sugar company donates his art collection to the nation, buying land and building a gallery space for it (now Tate Britain).
Physician and psychologist Havelock Ellis publishes the first volume of his Studies in the Psychology of Sex, and the English physicist John Thompson discovers the existence of the electron.


The burning of Benin city by Britain takes place, known also as the Punitive Exhibition of 1897. The excursion, led by Admiral Sir Harry Rawson, was a response to an attack by Benin warriors on a British delegation sent to settle a dispute over customs duties collected by British traders. During the expedition the British Admiralty destroyed much of the city's treasured art, including the Benin Bronzes, auctioning off the rest as war booty to recoup costs.

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Robert Hugill

22 April 2019, 10:55

The horn player is Adolf Borsdof, a founder of the London Symphony Orchestra. And the horn likely to be the one that Borsdorf's grandson gave to the Royal Academy of Music.

Information from horn player Anneke Scott

Keith MacLeod

04 January 2019, 18:06

Manuel Gomez was the father of the music director of my youth orchestra , Harold Gomez. Harold was the spitting image of his father. As I was and still am a clarinettist Harold shared many memories of his father with me. He told me that his father and uncle were orphans in Spain. They were given clarinets to play for the orphanage orchestra. They both excelled on the instrument and quickly became professional. Manuel was an outstanding clarinettist. I have heard him from wax cylinder recordings. His sound was very pure and focused, not spread like many English players. His technique was was astonishing. Most interesting was he had only one instrument; a Bb with a low Eb. He transposed “C” and “A” parts effortlessly.
Harold told me Manuel was a devoted father and always wanted to be close to his family to the point of always practicing in the family kitchen during meals and preparation.

Pedro Rubio

10 October 2017, 09:32

Last February I asked permission to reproduce this image in an article about Manuel Gomez, one of the performers that appears in the photo.
During the research we were able to date the clarinet that Mr Gomez holds in the image. It was made by the maker Boosey & Co. in London in 1899, according to its serial number. Therefore, the image could be dated around that year.
The article has been already published, the full title is below.
Pedro Rubio, 'Manuel Gómez, The Famous Spanish Clarinettist', Música 24 (2017), pp. 79-97.

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