How a leading symphony orchestra narrowly avoided playing on the Titanic on …
June 9, 2021, 15:37 | Updated: Jun 9, 2021, 3:47 PM
The London Symphony Orchestra almost embarked on the maiden voyage of the RMS Titanic on April 10, 1912. Here is the story of the near-accident of these musicians.
On April 15, 1912, five days after setting sail for the first time, the RMS Titanic sank in the North Atlantic Ocean after hitting an iceberg.
Among the 1,500 people who died on that tragic day was the famous ensemble of musicians, led by conductor Henry Wallace Hartley, who continued to perform until the ship’s final descent below the ocean’s surface.
“Many brave things were done that night, but none were braver than those done by men playing minute after minute as the ship settled quietly lower and lower into the sea,” said said Lawrence Beesley, survivor of the Titanic. is registered as told.
Hartley performed music on the Titanic alongside fellow violinists John Law Hume and Georges Alexandre Krins, pianist Theodore Ronald Brailey, cellists Roger Marie Bricoux, Percy Cornelius Taylor and John Wesley Woodward, and double bassist John Frederick Preston Clarke.
But these musicians, all employees of the CW and FN Black agencies based in Liverpool, were not the only ones taking part in the Titanic’s maiden voyage.
In fact, musicians from the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) were originally booked to participate in the trip.
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In an almost unbelievable near-crash, the White Star Line’s schedule changes caused them to travel to the United States on another ship a week earlier.
The orchestra’s sea voyage was to be part of its 1912 tour of the United States, the first British orchestra to do so.
An accident while testing one of its sister ships delayed the Titanic’s maiden voyage, leaving the LSO to sail on the replacement ship, the SS Baltic, so they could meet their touring concert commitments.
“They must have gone to the Baltic instead, which was the real reason they never got on the Titanic,” current LSO lead flautist Gareth Davies, said in an interview. “It was really because the White Star Line changed it and not because the LSO schedule changed,” this was the story that had already been shared.
The LSO apparently heard the news of the sinking of the Titanic when it reached St Louis in the United States.
“They must have had a shiver down their spines when they realized how close they were to being there,” Davies said. A diary entry by LSO timpanist Charles Turner expressed the “great concern” that the tragic incident caused among the musicians.
The orchestra’s return trip to England was quite grueling by any means. The ship they returned to was delayed for a day due to storms, fog and icebergs, and an extra day of travel had to be added.
“They were obviously very nervous,” Davies said. “Everyone had to be locked up under the bridge. I’m sure the Titanic must have been on their minds. How could it not have been?
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The LSO occurred as part of a poignant memorial concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London, just over a month after the sinking of the Titanic. They were in the company of six other great orchestras, conducted by Sir Edward Elgar, Sir Henry Wood and Thomas Beecham, among others.
The concert was dedicated to the eight brave musicians who died at their posts, performing as people were evacuated on an insufficient number of lifeboats, and the waters eventually engulfed those who were not fortunate enough to be rescued. .
According to the room, the auditorium was filled with nearly 8,000 dignitaries, bereaved families and members of the public, and the final orchestral and organ number was “Nearer My God to Thee”, the anthem that Hartley and his band were supposed to play while the ship sank. The audience stood up to sing, and almost everyone in attendance did not hold back their tears.
The LSO did not travel to the United States again until 1964.
London Symphony Orchestra is the Classic FM orchestra in the City of London. From Monday 7 to Friday 11 June 2021, it’s LSO week on Classic FM. Listen anywhere in the UK on 100-102 FM, DAB digital radio and TV, on Global player, the official Classic FM app – on your smart speaker (“play Classic FM”), iOS or Android device and on ClassicFM.com.