NORMAN O'NEILL 

14 March 1875 – 3 March 1934

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1934

Norman O’Neill born 14th March at 16 Young Street, London, the youngest son of G.B. O’Neill, artist, and Emma O’Neill (née Callcott)

Studies theory and composition with Dr Arthur Somervell and meets Joseph Joachim

 

Studies composition at the Hoch Conservatorium, Frankfurt, Germany, with Iwan Knorr. Forms friendships with Balfour Gardiner, Roger Quilter, Percy Grainger and Cyril Scott.  (‘The Frankfurt Gang’)

Teaches harmony to Adine Rückert, pianist and pupil of Clara Schumann

Composes Variations on Pretty Polly Oliver op. 1 piano, violin and cello

Death of Clara Schumann. Norman becomes engaged to Adine Rückert

Song Parted published [Weekes]

Leaves Frankfurt

Publishes Four Compositions for Piano op. 4 published [Forsythe]

A Norse Lullaby [Boosey & Hawkes]

Meets Hans Richter

Death of Norman’s sister, Kathleen, composing on that day his Romance in A for piano

Adine Rückert’s first public recital at the Salle Erard in Paris.  She performs Norman’s Variations and Fugue on a Theme by A.R.

 

Norman marries Adine Rückert

First performance of Trio in A minor op. 7, piano, violin and cello. Steinway Hall, London

First performance of concert overture: In Autumn op. 8, Promenade Concert, the Queen’s Hall, under Henry Wood

First employed by John Martin-Harvey to compose music for After All (Lytton) and The Exile (Osbourne and Strong)

First performance of Piano Quintet in E minor op. 10,   Kruse Quartet, Steinway Hall

Adine O’Neill becomes Head Music Mistress of St Paul’s Girls’ School

Norman edits 1st volume of The Golden Treasury of Song [Boosey]

Birth of son George Patrick

Family moves to 4 Pembroke Villas, Kensington

Composes incidental music to Martin-Harvey’s Hamlet at the Lyric Theatre, London.  First performance of the Hamlet Overture, Queen’s Hall, under Henry Wood

First performance of Death on the Hills. Ballade for contralto and orchestra op. 12  Promenade Concert, Henry Wood

Musical Director and organist to the West London Ethical Society

Published Variations and Fugue on an Irish Air for two pianos op. 17 published [Schott]

Edits Ethical Hymn Book with Music

Composed Waldemar op. 19, fantasy for solo voices, chorus and orchestra

First performance of concert overture: In Spring-time in Birmingham and later at a Promenade Concert under Henry Wood

[Composes] Six Miniatures for small orchestra 

                     Three pieces for piano op. 20 [Schott]

Incidental music to A Lonely Queen (Carr)

First meets Frederick Delius and writes the programme notes for the first British performance of Appalachia given on 22 November at the Queen’s Hall, London. Stays three nights at Grez sur Loing with Frederick and Jelka Delius at the end of December

Five Rondels for medium voice (Avison Edition)

Two French Songs (Avison Edition)

Committee member of The Musical League (Elgar President, Delius Vice-President)

Incidental music to The Bride of Lammermoor

Composes La Belle Dame sans Merci op. 31, baritone and full orchestra

Becomes Musical Director of Haymarket Theatre, London

Conducts at the Festival Franco-Anglais at The Trocadero, Paris

String Quartet in C Major

Piano Trio in one movement op. 32

Incidental music to King Lear

Incidental music to The Blue Bird   (Maeterlinck)

Four Dances from The Blue Bird and other incidental music published [Boosey]

Frederick and Jelka Delius stay with the O’Neills for first full performance of A Mass of Life conducted by Thomas Beecham, 7 June

Goes on a walking holiday with Delius in the Black Forest, Germany, in July

First performance of La Belle sans Merci op. 31 with Frederic Austin, Queen’s Hall, London

Incidental music to The Gods of the Mountain   (Lord Dunsany)

A Scotch Rhapsody op. 30 for full orchestra

Incidental music to The Golden Doom   (Dunsany)

Elected associate of The Royal Philharmonic Society

 

First performance of Introduction, Mazurka and Finale op. 43 (from A Forest Idyll) at a Philharmonic Society Concert

Incidental music to The Pretenders   (Ibsen)

Lord Haaken’s Lullaby   [Elkin]

 

Elected member and honorary director of the Royal Philharmonic Society

 

Death of Emma O’Neill, Norman’s mother

First performance of the Overture Humoresque for full orchestra op. 47   An Incorporated Society of Musicians concert

Noel a carol    SATB and bells   [Stainer and Bell]

Delius stays with the O’Neills,   23 June

Hornpipe op. 48   first performance Promenade Concert.   Published for piano and for full and small orchestra [Bosworth]

Opens tercentenary Shakespeare celebrations conducting his Hamlet overture at the Drury Lane Theatre, 2 May

Hiawatha   [Kegan]

Incidental music to Paddly Pools  op. 51   (Malleson)

Honorary Co-Treasurer of the Philharmonic Society

Birth of daughter Yvonne Patricia

First performance of the ballet Before Dawn   Lyric Theatre, London 29 June   [Boosey]

 

Death of G.B.O’Neill,   Norman’s father

Incidental music to Through the Green Door   (Vernon)   [Anglo-French]

 

Honorary Treasurer of the Royal Philharmonic Society

 

Takes over the St Paul’s Girls’ School orchestra from Gustav Holst for the rest of the War

 

Enrols as a stretcher bearer at Shere

Carillon op. 50 (ii) piano solo [Acherberg Hopwood and Crewe]

 

Several piano pieces for children

 

Incidental music for Reparation   (Tolstoy)   Gypsy songs and waltz published [AHC]

Incidental music to Julius Caesar

In February Delius stays with the O’Neills at 4 Pembroke Villas for the first performance (26 February) by the Royal Philharmonic Society of The Song of the High Hills for which Norman writes the programme notes

 

Julius Caesar runs at the St James’s Theatre, London, in the Henry Ainley season

Incidental music to Mary Rose   (Barrie)   Preludes and Interludes and the Call published for Piano and Prelude and Call for orchestra [Schott]

 

Song of Lucius from Julius Caesar published [Anglo French]

 

Incidental music to Macbeth, Aldwych Theatre, London

 

Mary Rose opens in New York

Celtic Legend and Nocturne for Violin and Piano   [Schott]

Incidental music to The Knave of Diamonds (Dell)

 

Incidental music to The Love Thief   (Fernald)

 

Incidental music to Quality Street   (Barrie) from which published:

Eight 18th century dance arrangements for piano [Schott]

Ballet The Snow Queen.

 

Adine O’Neill President of the Society of Women Musicians

 

Norman conducts concert version of Mary Rose at a Promenade Concert, Queen’s Hall

Incidental Music to The Merchant of Venice David Belasco’s production, Lyceum Theatre, New York

Norman sails in September on the Empress of Britain to Quebec travelling through Canada and America.

 

He writes a diary in the form of letters to Adine describing the trip and the Belasco rehearsals for this production (BL)

 

Three songs from The Merchant of Venice published by H.W.Gray (New York)

Composes the Punch and Judy ballet for The Punch Bowl revue produced by Archibald De Bear

 

Incidental music to A Kiss for Cinderella (Barrie) published for piano   [Cramer]

 

Blossom Songs (from the Japanese)   with piano quartet [Cramer]

 

Joins the staff of the Royal Academy of Music as Professor of Harmony and Composition

 

Examiner for the Associated Board of RAM and RCM

 

Buys Losely Farm, Surrey

 

Adine O’Neill (as Mrs Norman O’Neill) begins her broadcasting career on BBC radio

Incidental music to Kismet   from which published:

Three solo songs: Lo! Still the stars; Lute song; Marsinah’s song   [Keith Prowse]

Incidental music to The Man with a Load of Mischief (Ashley Dukes) from which published:

Two solo songs: I have a flaunting air and The Golden Hour of Noon [Cramer]

Norman commences conducting his own compositions for the BBC

Echoes of Erin Twelve Irish songs [Boosey]

 

RSVP revue Alice in Wonderland ballet

 

Revival of Mary Rose at the Haymarket Theatre, London

Festal Prelude published for piano and full and small orchestra [Bosworth]

Two Shakespearean Sketches: Nocturne and Masquerade, published for full and small orchestra   [Cramer]

Incidental music to Measure for Measure   Haymarket Theatre, London

 

Revival of Mary Rose at the Haymarket Theatre, London

Revival of Hamlet at the Haymarket Theatre, London

 

Composes The Farmer and the Fairies (Asquith) a recitation with piano or orchestral accompaniment

 

Jewels [Rodgers]

 

Sells Losely Farm

First performance of The Farmer and the Fairies   BBC Radio

 

Norman visits Delius at Grez sur Loing in August

Resigns as musical director of The Haymarket Theatre, London

 

Revival of The Merchant of Venice at the St James Theatre, London

 

Norman visits Delius at Grez sur Loing in August

Contracted for a Shakespeare season with Stoll

 

Julius Caesar, The Merchant of Venice and Henry V   Manchester Hippodrome

 

Begins work on The Merry Wives of Windsor and Twelfth Night   neither completed

Norman visits Delius at Grez sur Loing in July

Henry V at the Alhambra, London

 

Prepares a BBC concert of his Shakespearean music

12 February accident with a ‘tri-car’ in Oxford Street, London

 

Blood poisoning sets in

 

17 February Julian Clifford takes over the conducting of Shakespeare programme for the BBC

 

Ernest Irving conducts Henry V at the Alhambra

 

3 March death of Norman O’Neill

Hoch Conservatorium

Iwan Knorr

Adine O'Neill, 1899 at the time of her marriage

St. Paul's Girls' School

Letter from Delius

Poster for The Blue Bird

Scene for The Dance of The Hours by F. Cayley Robinson from The Blue Bird

G.B.O'Neill, Norman's father

Poster for 'Mary Rose'

Losely Farm, Ewhurst

@The Michael Diamond Collection/Mary Evans Picture Library

Norman O'Neill's Memorial, Golders Green Crematorium

© 2018 Katherine Jessel, Estate of Norman O’Neill and Stephen Lloyd (biographical texts). All rights reserved.

 

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