Marie Hall (1884-1956)

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Marie Pauline Hall (8 April 1884 – 11 November 1956) was an English violinist.Hall was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. She received her first lessons from her father, who was a harpist in the orchestra of the Carl Rosa Opera Company. She also studied with a local teacher, Hildegarde Werner.Hall family moved around the country with her father and spent some years in Guarlford, a small village near Malvern. When she was nine, Émile Sauret heard her play but her parents did not follow his advice to send her to the Royal Academy of Music in London.(Oxford DNB) She continued to study under several well known teachers, including Edward Elgar in 1894, August Wilhelmj in London in 1896, Max Mossel in Birmingham in 1898, and Professor Kruse in 1900 in London. In 1901, upon the advice of Jan Kubelík, she went to study under his former tutor Otakar Ševčík in Prague. Hall played for the first time in Prague in November 1902, Vienna in January 1903, and made her London debut on February 16, 1903, scoring a success in all these places. She possessed a technique that she believed was due to Ševčík's teaching. While she appeared to be not very strong physically, Hall proved herself strong enough to engage upon long tours and perform exacting programs without fatigue. Ralph Vaughan Williams completed The Lark Ascending with Hall's assistance, and dedicated it to her. She gave the first public performances, that for violin and piano at a concert of the Avonmouth and Shirehampton Choral Society on 15 December 1920, and that for violin and orchestra at the Queen's Hall with the British Symphony Orchestra under Adrian Boult on 14 June 1921. She owned and played one of the two Viotti Stradivarius violins..In 1911, Hall married her manager Edward Baring; they settled in Cheltenham and had one child, Pauline.(Oxford DNB) For the last years of her life she lived in Cheltenham in a large Victorian villa, “Inveresk”, in Eldorado Road. In 1916, she recorded an abridged version of the Elgar Violin Concerto with the composer conducting.Hall has been described as “a very charming woman, very small and jolly and with a great sense of humour. She was also extremely generous.” She died in Cheltenham on 11 November 1956. The 1709 Stradivarius violin, which she had played for more than 50 years and became known as the "Marie Hall Stradivarius", was sold at Sotheby's in April 1988 for a record £473,000 to an anonymous South American bidder.

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