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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
17th August 1990 Actress Rachel Hurd-Wood was born in Streatham, London.
17th August 1968 Actress Helen McCrory was born in Paddington, London.
17th August 1798 Medical pioneer Thomas Hodgkin was born in Pentonville, London.
Johann Strauss lived here
This is where famous composer Johann Strauss lodged in London.
Location: 1-2 Leicester Street, Soho, WC2H 7BL
Description: The father of the Waltz dynasty in classical music Johann Strauss (1st) (1804-1849) lodged here at the former Hotel de Commerce in April 1838.
Johann gave 72 concerts across Britain, and played festivities given in honour of Queen Victoria's coronation. He and his orchestra played Buckingham Palace. After the first concert on 17 April in Londons Hanover Square Rooms, the Morning Post (18 April 1838) declared:
The concert, which was exclusively instrumental, opened with Aubers overture to Le Serment, the performance of which was at once sufficient to convince all present that so perfect a band was never before heard on this side of the Channel. Orchestras we may boast, the individuals composing which are equal in talent to these, but the perfection of such an ensemble we have never yet reached. The accuracy, the sharpness, the exquisite precision with which every passage, however complicated, is performed, can be the result only of the most careful and persevering practice . We had almost forgotten to notice the superior talent of Strauss himself on the violin; he performs with peculiar energy, and imparts much of his own spirit to his band, the combined effect of which more resembles the unity of one single powerful instrument than any orchestra that has yet been heard in this country.
There is a black plaque is located between the first and second ground-floor windows to the left of the building.