His brother Henry, born in London, Nov. 7, 1839, was, like him, instructed solely by his father. In his boyhood he was also a chorister at the Oratory. After quitting his brother in Paris in 1865 he proceeded to Copenhagen and thence to Stockholm, where he remained some time, but ultimately returned to England and settled in London, where he is highly esteemed as a solo violinist and quartet player. His principal compositions are four symphonies (No. 1, in A, performed at the Crystal Palace Feb. 24, 1872), a concert overture, two quintets for stringed instruments, a violin concerto (in F, Crystal Palace Dec. 11, 1875), many violin solos, two sacred cantatas for solo voices, chorus and orchestra, entitled 'Praise ye the Lord,' and 'Christmas,' and numerous songs. [App. p.679 "add that for some years he has given an interesting series of chamber concerts, under the title of 'Musical Evenings,' and that he has held the post of professor of the violin at the Royal College of Music since its foundation. A symphony, entitled 'Boscastle,' was given at one of the London Symphony Concerts in the spring of 1887."]
Edward, born in 1797, schoolfellow and friend of Keats, was educated for the musical profession under V. Novello, and became a teacher of the pianoforte. He was engaged as music critic of 'The Atlas' newspaper. In 1827, before or during this engagement, he made a tour in Germany, the result of which was a volume entitled, 'A Ramble among the Musicians of Germany, etc.' 1828. This work was well received, and reached a third edition. In 1845 he published 'The Life of Mozart,' including his correspondence,' in an 8vo volume, which justly attracted great attention. This book, which was the result of a second visit to Germany, and bears traces of great and conscientious labour, as well as of talent and judgment of no common order, is characterised by Otto Jahn as the most useful, complete, and trustworthy biography then in existence (Jahn's Mozart, 2nd ed. Vorwort, p. xv). Jahn's own Life of the master contains a mass of materials which no one but a German residing on the spot could have collected, but Holmes's has greatly the advantage of it in compression and readableness, and it is with pleasure that, as these sheets are passing through the press, we notice the publication of a new edition by Mr. Prout (Novello & Co., 1878). In addition to this, his great work, Holmes wrote a life of Purcell for the second issue of Novello's edition of his Sacred Music, an 'Analytical and Thematic Index of Mozart's P. F. works,' often reprinted by the same firm, analyses of several of Mozart's Masses, which were published in the 'Musical Times,' with many other papers on musical subjects. He married the granddaughter of S. Webbe, and died Aug. 28, 1859. (See Mus. Times, Oct. 1, 1859.)
George, organist to the Bishop of Durham, was appointed organist of Lincoln Cathedral on the death of Thomas Allinson in 1704. He composed several anthems, two of which—'Arise, shine, daughter of Zion,' composed on the Union with Scotland, 1706, and 'I will love Thee, O Lord,'—are to be found in the Tudway Collection (Harl. MS. 7341), and others are in the choir books of Lincoln. Holmes composed an Ode for St. Cecilia's day, but for what particular year is not stated; its contents however show it to have been written between 1703 and 1713. He died in 1720. Some catches by a George Holmes are contained in Hilton's 'Catch that Catch can,' 1652; their composer may possibly have been the father of the organist of Lincoln.
John, organist of Winchester Cathedral in the latter part of the 16th century, and organist of Salisbury Cathedral from 1602 to 1610, contributed to 'The Triumphes of Oriana,' 1601, the madrigal for five voices, 'Thus Bonny Boots the birthday celebrated.' Some church music of his composition is extant in MS. He was master to Adrian Batten and Edward Lowe. His son Thomas was sworn a gentleman of the Chapel Royal, Sept. 17, 1633. Some catches by him are contained in Hilton's 'Catch that Catch can,' 1652. He died at Salisbury, March 25, 1638.
William Henry, son of a musician, born at Sudbury, Derbyshire, Jan. 8, 1812, entered the Royal Academy of Music at its opening in 1822, and gained two of the first medals granted there for composition and the piano. In 1826 Mr. Holmes became Sub-professor and subsequently Professor of the Piano, and is now (1879) the father of the Academy. As a teacher he has been remarkably successful, and has trained some of the most eminent of English musicians: among them Sterndale Bennett, the two Macfarrens, J. W. Davison, and others. His knowledge of P.F. music is very great, and as a virtuoso he long enjoyed a high reputation. His first appearance at the Philharmonic was in Mendelssohn's Introduction and Rondo, March 24, 1851; and as late as 1876 he performed at the Alexandra Palace a concerto of his own, in A major, written for the Jubilee of the R. A. M. His compositions are numerous and of all classes—symphonies, concertos, sonatas, songs, and an opera—still in MS. Like his friend Cipriani Potter he was always ready to welcome new composers and new music, in proof of which we may name the fact that it was at his instigation and under his care that Brahms's P.F. Concerto was first played in England by Miss Baglehole, at the Crystal Palace, March 9, 1872.
Paris,' and composed two others under the names of 'Charles XII' and 'Romeo and Juliet.' He died, after a short illness, at Paris, March 4, 1876. Shortly after his death two overtures, 'The Cid' and 'The Muses,' his last works, were produced in London. [App. p.678 replace last sentence with "His last works were two Overtures, of which 'The Cid' was played at the Crystal Palace, Feb. 21, 1874, and The Muses' in London later."]
[ G. ]
- Letter, Aug. 11, 1825.