Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 50.djvu/223

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


the professional concerts, from which he had been excluded. In 1790 he went to the continent to engage opera-singers for the impresario Gallini. At Cologne he heard that Prince Esterhazy was dead, and Haydn free to travel. It was then arranged that Haydn should accompany Salomon to England, and Mozart should follow next year. During the spring of 1791 the famous ‘Salomon concerts’ were given at the Hanover Square rooms, and were so successful that, Mozart having died, Haydn remained for another year. Salomon again brought over Haydn in 1794. For these two visits Haydn composed his finest instrumental works, the ‘Twelve Grand [called in Germany the Salomon] Symphonies.’ In 1796 Salomon, when on a visit to Bath, recognised the talent of young John Braham, whom he brought to London; and his promising pupil, G. F. Pinto, aroused great expectations.

The world also owes Haydn's oratorios to Salomon, who suggested that Haydn should attempt work in this style, and procured him the libretto of the ‘Creation.’ The oratorio was published in 1800, and a copy was sent to Salomon, who paid 30l. 16s. postage; but was forestalled in his intention of producing it in public by John Ashley, who caused it to be performed on 28 March at Covent Garden. Salomon first gave it on 21 April in the concert room of the King's Theatre. Next year Salomon himself took Covent Garden, in partnership with Dr. Arnold, for the Lenten oratorio performances. From this time his name appears less frequently in concert programmes; but in 1813 he took a very active part in establishing the Philharmonic Society, and led the orchestra at the first concert. He afterwards planned an academy of music; but in the summer of 1815 a fall from his horse brought on dropsy, of which he died on 25 Nov., at his house, 70 Newman Street. He was buried (2 Dec.) in the south cloister of Westminster Abbey.

Of Salomon's compositions, now long forgotten, the most important was a spectacular opera, ‘Windsor Castle,’ composed for the Prince of Wales's wedding (8 April 1795). Burney (Hist. of Music, iv. 682) praises the ‘taste, refinement, and enthusiasm’ of Salomon's violin-playing; and the last quartets of Haydn (in which the first violin part is written very high) were especially intended to suit his style. The Stradivarius violin he used had been Corelli's. He bequeathed considerable property, although he was always generous to excess; he fortunately possessed a faithful and vigilant servant, who lived with him twenty-eight years, and saved him from ruining himself through liberality.

Salomon presented his portrait, by James Lonsdale [q. v.], to the museum at Bonn. Another is in the Music School collection, Oxford (cf. Bromley, Portraits, p. 412).

[Grove's Dict. of Music and Musicians, iii. 220, iv. 727; Thayer's Beethoven's Leben, i. 31, 43, 104, 203; Pohl's Haydn und Mozart in London, ii. 73–85, 123, 314; Gent. Mag. December 1815, p. 569; the article ‘Salomon’ in Knight's Penny Cyclopædia; Morning Chronicle, 30 Nov. 1815; Times, 2 Dec. 1815. The account in the Georgian Era is untrustworthy as regards dates.]

H. D.


SALOMONS, Sir DAVID (1797–1873), lord mayor of London, second son of Levy Salomons, merchant and underwriter of London and Frant, Sussex, and Matilda de Mitz of Leyden, was born on 22 Nov. 1797. He was a member of a Jewish family long resident in London and engaged in commercial pursuits. He was brought up to a commercial life, and in 1832 was one of the founders of the London and Westminster Bank, of which at the time of his death he was the last surviving governor. He commenced business as an underwriter in March 1834. In 1831 Lord Denman advised the corporation of London that they could admit Jews to certain municipal offices by administering to them such an oath as would be binding on their conscience; and in 1835 Salomons, having distinguished himself by his charitable contributions and benevolent efforts in the city, and being a liveryman of the Coopers' Company, was chosen one of the sheriffs for London and Middlesex. To set at rest any doubts which might exist as to the legality of the election, a special act of parliament was passed. A testimonial was presented to him in September 1836, at the close of his shrievalty, by his co-religionists ‘as an acknowledgment of his exertions in the cause of religious liberty.’ It consisted of a massive silver group, emblematical of the overthrow of ignorance and oppression and the establishment of religious equality. This is now preserved, in accordance with a provision in Salomons's will, in the Guildhall Museum.

He was also elected in 1835 alderman for the ward of Aldgate; but as he declined on conscientious grounds to take the necessary oaths, the court of aldermen took proceedings in the court of queen's bench to test the validity of his election. The verdict was in favour of Salomons, but was reversed on appeal, the higher court considering that the oath required by the act of George IV could not be evaded. He was appointed high sheriff of Kent in 1839–40, without being obliged to subscribe to the usual declaration, and was also