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Thread: Sir William Herschel

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    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    Default Sir William Herschel

    From a daily e-mail I receive:
    --------------------------
    "Today (November 15) is the birthday of a quite remarkable 18th century British composer, Sir William Herschel, who was born in Hannover, Germany, on this date in 1738. Herschel’s father was a regimental oboist, and young William himself eventually joined papa’s regimental band… also as an oboist. In his early 20s he settled in England, originally entrusted with improving performing standards of the Durham Militia Band, he soon was teaching music to some of the wealthy British families in that area. As a performing musician, Herschel was active in Newcastle, Leeds, Halifax and Bath, and in time became a prominent figure on the music scene, attracting the attention of the Royal Family. He composed 24 symphonies and a number of concertos, including this one in C Major for oboe and orchestra. In addition to music, however, Herschel had a passion for astronomy, and, beginning in the 1770s, concentrated more and more of his attention on scientific matters. In 1781, he discovered the planet Uranus, a feat that made him famous throughout Europe. Herschel was named “Astronomer Royal” to the British crown and given a pension that enabled him to give up music and devote himself entirely to astronomy. Haydn, during his stay in England, paid Herschel a visit to take a peek through his impressive 40-foot telescope. Herschel was knighted in 1817, and became the first president of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1821. He died the following year, in 1822, at the age of 83."

    I will add that his accomplishments in astronomy are profound and astonishing and go far beyond the discovery of Uranus.


  2. Likes Larkenfield, vesteel, jenspen liked this post
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    Member vesteel's Avatar
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    He's a good composer! I recommend his 8th and 14th Symphony.

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