Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/722

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710

��STEINWAY.

��the narrow limits of a guild. Circumstances however, allowed him in 1825 to marry and settle as a cabinet-maker at Seesen, near the Hartz mountains, where he had been already working; and in that year (Nov. 25) his eldest son Theodore was born. Steinway in a few years turned his attention to piano-making, and in 1839 exhibited a grand and two square pianos at the State Fair of Brunswick. Seesen being in Hanoverian territory, the foundation of the Prussian 'Zollverein' in 1845 brought Stein- way's hitherto flourishing business to a stand- still, and the revolution of 1848 destroyed it entirely. The course of events now induced Steinway to leave Germany, and in April 1849 he emigrated to New York, whither his family, with the exception of Theodore, the eldest son, followed him the next year. For three years the father and the three sons, Charles, Henry, and William, worked in different New York piano factories. In March 1853 they agreed to unite and start in business on their own account, and the firm of ' Steinway & Sons ' was established. In 1855 they exhibited a square piano in which the American iron frame principle of a single casting was combined with a cross or over- strung scale, forming the foundation of the so- called 'Steinway system,' which, as applied to grand pianos, attracted great attention in the London International Exhibition of 1862. Both Charles and Henry Steinway dying in 1865, Theodore, the eldest son, disposed of his business in Brunswick and became a partner of the New York firm. Their spacious concert-room there was built and opened in 1866. About this time the Steinways began to make upright pianos, and their instruments of all kinds shown at Paris in the Universal Exhibition of 1867, not only gained them success, but became models for Germany, to the great improvement of the German make and trade. Henry Steinway, the father, died in 1871. We may quote from the New York En- cyclopaedia of Contemporary Biography the sum- mary of his life: 'By virtue of his abilities and his inborn strength of character, he, an orphan boy, became one of the greatest manufacturers in his special industry, not only of his own country, but of the world.' Theodore and William Steinway are now (1882) the senior partners of the firm. In 1875 they opened a branch of their business in London, to which a concert-room is attached, and in 1880 another branch establish- ment at Hamburg. [A.J.H.]

STEINWEG, the original of STEINWAY (Gro- tian, Helfferich, Schulz, TH. STEINWEGS NACH- FOLGER). This firm of pianoforte-makers in Brunswick succeeded, as the style implies, to Mr. Theodor Steinweg or Steinway, when he retired, in 1865, from the business founded by his father, to join the New York firm of Steinway & Sons, of which, being the eldest brother, he has become the senior partner. Soon after the Steinway system of construction was brought out in America, he introduced it in Germany, and in the season of 1 8 60- 1 his concert instruments, made on that principle, were publicly used. His successors in

��STEPHENS.

Brunswick have maintained the good reputation he founded for these instruments, which are favoured with the preference of some eminent pianists; notably of Madame Schumann, who since 1870 has used them exclusively in Germany for her public performances. Although the present firm preserve the Steinway model in the main, they claim to have made deviations and alterations, particularly in the action, that give the instruments of 'Th. Stein wegs Nachfolger' their own cachet. [A.J.H.]

STEPHENS, CATHERINE, born in London Sept. 1 8, 1794, having given early indications of aptitude for music, was in 1807 placed under the instruction of Gesualdo Lanza, whose pupil she remained for some years. Early in 1812 she appeared in subordinate parts at the Pantheon as a member of an Italian Opera Company. Soon afterwards her father, dissatisfied with the ap- parently small progress she made under Lanza, placed her under the tuition of Thomas Welsh. On Sept. 23, 1813, she appeared anonymously at Covent Garden as Mandane in 'Artaxerxes' with decided success. She repeated the part on Sept. 28, as 'Miss Stevens,' and on Sept. 30, under her proper name. She soon afterwards performed Polly in ' The Beggar's Opera,' Rosetta in ' Love in a Village,' and Clara in ' The Duenna,' in each gaining ground in public favour. Her success occasioned an animated controversy between her two instructors as to which of them could claim the credit of having really developed her abili- ties. In March 1814 she was engaged at the Concert of Ancient Music, where she was at once allotted all the principal soprano songs, and later in the year she sang at the festivals at Norwich and Birmingham. She continued at Covent Garden until 1822, when she broke with the managers on a question of terms and transferred her services to Drury Lane. She occupied the principal position on the English operatic stage, at the first concerts, and the festi- vals, until 1 835, when she retired into private life. Her voice was a pure soprano, rich, full, and powerful, and of extensive compass, and her execution neat, although not very remarkable for brilliancy. She somewhat lacked dramatic in- stinct and power, and her enunciation was very bad, but she excelled in the expression of quiet devotional feeling and simple pathos. In such songs as Handel's 'Angels, ever bright and fair,' and ' If guiltless blood,' and in ballads like 'Auld Robin Gray,' and 'Savourneen Deelish,' she captivated every hearer. On March 14, 1838, she was married to the widowed octogenarian Earl of Essex in his house No. 9 Belgrave Square, 1 and on April 23, 1839, became his widow. She

1 In the Parish Register of St. George, Hanover Square, fhe mar- riage was originally entered as having been celebrated In 'the Parish Church.' Those last three words were, however, subsequently erased (in two places) with a sharp instrument, and '9 Belgrave Square* written upon the erasures, but without any note, or authentication, of the alteration being made in the Begister. The original entry fs proved by the words 'the Parish Church ' remaining unaltered in the certified copy of the register at Somerset House, until March 1882, when the discrepancy was pointed out by the present writer, and measures taken for its correction. It is to be hoped that this is a solitary instance of so flagrant a violation of the directions of the Act of Parliament as to the mode in which erroneous entries in Begisters are to be rectified.

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