A lasting memorial to Frank Bridge

Photo:The plaque being unveiled

The plaque being unveiled

Photo by Henry Bruce

Photo:Close-up of the plaque

Close-up of the plaque

Photo by Henry Bruce

Photo:Frank Bridge

Frank Bridge

Photo:Another photo of Frank Bridge, 1921

Another photo of Frank Bridge, 1921

New 'blue plaque' for North Laine

A new 'blue plaque' was unveiled in North Laine on Friday 9th May 2014 to mark the place where composer and musician Frank Bridge was born in 1879 - at No 7 North Road.

Plaque unveiled by the Mayor

The Mayor Cllr Denise Cobb unveiled the plaque, which was organised by MOOT (Music Of Our Time). The building now provides supported housing for homeless people.

Composer Frank Bridge

Frank Bridge (1879 – 1941) will be known by classical music enthusiasts as a fine English composer. He studied at the Royal College of Music in London from 1899 to 1903 and played the viola in a number of string quartets, including the English String Quartet. He also conducted, sometimes deputising for Henry Wood, before devoting himself to composition.

He was a pacifist

Bridge had strong pacifist convictions and was deeply disturbed by the First World War, after which his compositions, beginning with the Piano Sonata, were marked by a radical change in musical language. Bridge was frustrated that his later works were largely ignored while his earlier ‘Edwardian’ works continued to receive attention.

He tutored Benjamin Britten

Bridge is mostly remembered for privately tutoring Benjamin Britten, who later championed his teacher's music and paid homage to him in his Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge (1937), based on a theme from the second of Bridge's Three Idylls for String Quartet (1906). Britten spoke very highly of his teaching, saying in 1963 that he still felt he hadn't come up to the technical standards that Bridge had set him.

He grew up at 7 North Road

Frank Bridge grew up at No 7 North Road with 11 siblings and went to school in York Place from 1879. His most famous work The Sea is believed to have been inspired by his home town.

Plaque organised by MOOT

The new plaque cost £600 and was organised and funded partly by MOOT (Music of our Time), partly by Oakley’s (the estate agent next door to the site), and partly by Sanctuary Housing. MOOT put on a series of concerts during the Brighton Festival in May 2014 called ‘Sounds of War – Instruments of Peace’ based on St Nicholas Church and many of them featured music by Frank Bridge – 11 different works in all were performed. The plaque on No 7 North Road will be a lasting memorial to him.

 

[Previously published in the North Laine Runner, No 228, May/June 2014]

 

 

This page was added on 23/06/2014.

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