(b Haddington, 1 March 1947). Scottish cellist. He studied with Eleanor Gregorson and Joan Dickson in Edinburgh, and with Rostropovich at the Moscow Conservatory. He made his orchestral début with the BBC Northern SO in Manchester (1968), and gave his London début recital in 1972. Subsequently he has appeared as soloist at the Proms in London and toured internationally with the BBC Scottish SO, the Philharmonia and the RPO; he has also performed two complete cycles of Beethoven's works for cello and piano at the Wigmore Hall (1978 and 1982). Welsh has given the premières of several works, including David Blake's Scenes (1972) and his Cello Concerto (1993), both of which are dedicated to him; he also gave the first performances of concertos by Lennox Berkeley (1983), George Nicholson (1991) and Ronald Stevenson (1995). He has played in various chamber music groups, including the Arienski Ensemble (1987–94), and in duos with the pianists Anthony Goldstone and Roger Vignoles. From 1975 to 1993 he taught at the RNCM, and in 1992 was appointed principal cellist of the LPO. Of his recordings, those of Hugh Wood's Cello Concerto and Howells's Fantasia have received particular acclaim. Welsh plays a Matteo Gofriller cello dated 1705. (H. Wallace: ‘League of Eloquence’, The Strad, cii (1991), 222–6)
Welsh [Walsh, Welch], Thomas
(b Wells, c1780; d Brighton, 24 Jan 1848). English bass and composer, a grandson of the elder Thomas Linley. At the age of six he became a chorister in Wells Cathedral and made such rapid progress that Wells soon became the resort of music lovers attracted by the beauty of ‘Master Walsh’s’ voice and the excellence of his singing. He appeared in 1792 at the Bath concerts, in the concerts given in London at the King’s Theatre during the rebuilding of Drury Lane, and also on the stage in Attwood’s The Prisoner, written to display his talent. In 1795 he performed at Drury Lane in Attwood’s The Adopted Child, Storace’s Lodoiska and other pieces. John Kemble thought highly of his acting ability and taught him the role of Prince Arthur in Shakespeare’s King John.
After his voice broke, Welsh pursued his studies under C.F. Horn, John Cramer and Baumgarten. In 1802, his voice having become a deep and powerful bass, he was admitted a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal. Between 1810 and 1816 he wrote music for several theatrical productions, but his greatest reputation was gained as a singing teacher and instructor of pupils for the stage. Foremost among his students were John Sinclair, C.E. Horn, Catherine Stephens and Mary Ann Wilson. An original member of the Regent’s (later Royal) Harmonic Institution in 1818, he was by spring 1823 the principal shareholder with William Hawes; from mid-1827 to 1833 he ran the company on his own account. On 9 June 1827 Welsh had married Mary Ann Wilson (1802–67), who in the year after her highly successful début (Drury Lane, 18 January 1821) earned an unprecedented £10,000 on the stage, though she soon ruined her voice from overexertion. Their only child married the cellist Alfredo Piatti.
stage works first performed in London; librettos in US-SM
Twenty Years Ago! (musical play, 2, I. Pocock), Lyceum, 21 July 1810
The Green-Eyed Monster, or How to Get your Money (operatic farce, Pocock), Lyceum, 14 Oct 1811
Kamtchatka, or The Slave’s Tribute (musical play, C. Kemble, after A. von Kotzebue), CG, 16 Oct 1811
Up to Town (comic op, T.J. Dibdin), CG, 6 Nov 1811, collab. Reeve, Condell, Whitaker
Selima and Azor (2, G. Collier), CG, 5 Oct 1813, collab. Bishop and T. Cooke
For England, Ho! (melodramatic op, 2, Pocock), CG, 15 Dec 1813, air (London, 1815); collab. Bishop
Is he Jealous? (operetta, 1, S. Beazley), English Opera House (Lyceum), 2 July 1816
Song(?s) attrib. Master Walsh in A Collection of New and Favorite Songs (Philadelphia, 1797–9)
Vocal Instructor, or The Art of Singing Exemplified in 15 Lessons Leading to 40 Progressive Exercises (London, 1825)
DNB (J.C. Hadden)
Grove1 (W.H. Husk)
Obituary: ‘Mr Thomas Welsh’, Gentleman’s Magazine, xxix (1848), 554–5
W.H. HUSK/LEANNE LANGLEY
Welsh Folk Dance Society.
For collection and promotion of folkdance. See Wales, II, §6(ii).
Welsh Folk-Song Society.
For collection and promotion of folksong and music. See Wales, II, §6(ii).
Welsh National Opera [WNO].
Opera company founded in 1946 in Cardiff.
German family of instrument makers, notable for developing various types of Mechanical instrument. The firm, which began by making Orchestrion organs, was founded in 1832 at Vörenbach and later moved to Freiburg. In 1904 M. Welte & Söhne introduced the first reproducing Player piano under the name of ‘Welte-Mignon’ (see also Reproducing piano fig.1). Originally in the form of a separate player mechanism placed in front of the keyboard of a normal piano, it was later built into specially constructed grands and uprights by such prominent makers as Steinway and Gaveau. Shortly afterwards Welte adapted this mechanism to player pipe organs of considerable complexity, some to specifications by Max Reger; these were sold under the trade name ‘Welte-Philharmonie’. Around 1933 Edwin Welte (1876–1957) designed the Lichtton-Orgel (an electronic organ), also known as the Welte organ. The firm suffered as interest in mechanical pianos and organs declined and it was liquidated shortly after the Freiburg premises were destroyed in 1944.
See alsoOrgan, §VI, 5, and Player organ.
H.Weiss-Stauffacher and R.Bruhin: Mechanische Musikinstrumente und Musikautomaten (Zürich, 1975; Eng. trans., 1976)
For further bibliography seeMechanical instrument.