Francesco Berger

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Francesco Berger (1834–1933)

English pianist and composer of Italian parentage (b. 10 June 1834 [N.S.] in London; d. 26 April 1933 in London), also known as Francis Berger.

After studying piano and composition in London, in 1848 Berger travelled to his father's home city of Trieste, where he had his first opera performed while aged only seventeen. After his return from continental Europe in 1855, Berger returned to England as a pianist and music professor. He befriended Charles Dickens, and in 1864 married the contralto Annie Lascelles (1840–1907).

Berger became of a member of the London Philharmonic Society in 1871, and was its honorary secretary from 1884 until 1911. It was in this capacity that he corresponded with Tchaikovsky, and greeted the composer on his visits to London in 1888, 1889 and 1893.

Correspondence with Tchaikovsky

16 letters from Tchaikovsky to Francesco Berger have survived, dating from 1888 to 1893, of which those highlighted in bold are available in English translations on this website:

16 letters from Francesco Berger to the composer, dating from 1888 to 1893, are preserved in the Klin House-Museum Archive [1].

Bibliography

Notes and References

  1. Six of these letters were published in Russian translation only in Чайковский и зарубежные музыканты (1970), p. 20–22. All 16 letters have now been published in the original German in Čajkovskijs Londoner Sinfonien. Der Briefwechsel des Komponisten mit Francesco Berger (2013), thanks to the generous assistance of Galina Belonovich, the Director of the Tchaikovsky House-Museum, and Polina Vaidman, the museum's senior curator.