Prague Concert Life, 1850-1881

Event title:

Benefit concert given by the Private Society for the Support of the Prague Poor House

Venue: Žofín Island (Žofín Hall)

Event type: Art music culture

Date: 07/05/1859 12 noon

Beneficiary: Prague Institute for the Poor [St Bartholomew Poor House]

Programme comprising:

General participants:
  • Prague Conservatory: participating institution, orch
  • APT, Antonín: director of ensemble, conductor
SCHUMANN, Robert Alexander : Overture to incidental music Manfred, orch, op.115
SCHUBERT, Franz Peter : song Der blinde Knabe, v, pf, D833
     • Miková-Bennewitzová, Emilie : v
BATTA, Alexander : unspecified Romanze, vc, orch
     • Goltermann, Julius : vc
BEETHOVEN, Ludwig van : song Adelaide, v, pf, op.46
     • Fektér, Franz : v
ALARD, Delphin : unspecified Concertstück, 2 vl, orch
     • Řebíček, Josef : vl 1 Hřímalý, Jan : vl 1 Wirth, Emanuel : vl 1 Wien, Karl : vl 1 Schönberg, Joseph : vl 2 Bendiner, Adolf : vl 2 Kunkl, Alfred : vl 2 Kožmín, František : vl 2 Hřímalý, Vojtěch : vl 2


During the 1850s and 1860s benefit concerts were given annually by the Prague Conservatory in aid of the Society for the Support of the Prague Poor House. These events were not related to the annual concerts given by the orchestra of the Estates Theatre in aid of the Poor House itself, and which generally took place in March.

A detailed advertisement for this event was published by Prager Morgenpost on 6/5/1859. This gave the title of the concert ‘zum Besten des Privatvereines zur Unterstützung der Hausarmen Prags’, its date, time and venue, and then listed the complete programme in performance order together with the participating soloists. Between the works by Batta and Beethoven a declamation of Willibald’s poem Kauft Schweselhölzchen was performed by Mrs Auguste Burggraf. The review also carried information about where tickets could be bought, either from Mr Josef Edlen von Geitler at Roßmarkt no.838, or on the day of the performance at the box office. Admission to the circle cost 2fl, to the stalls 1fl and to the gallery 50kr. The Concertstück by Alard performed by nine pupils of the Conservatory was noted as being given ‘By popular demand’ [‘Auf Verlangen’]. The work had previously been performed with the same soloists in the second annual Conservatory concert of the season on 14/4/1859.

News of this concert appeared in the Tageskalender of Bohemia 8/5/1859. The event not reviewed by Bohemia nor Prager Morgenpost, but a review, signed ‘!!’ was forthcoming from Prager Zeitung 10/5/1859. This noted that the Overture Manfred [and presumably the rest of the concert] was conducted by [Antonín] Abt [Apt]. The attendance of the event was described as ‘numerous’ [‘zahlreich’].

The direction of this concert by Apt was probably due to the Conservatory Director Kittl being indisposed. In April Kittl had returned to conduct the second annual Conservatory concert after suffering from a fall in which he had broken his hand, but during the late 1850s and early 1860s was suffering increasingly from ill health.

Summary of sources:

Prager Zeitung (06/05/1859)
Prager Morgenpost (06/05/1859)
Bohemia (08/05/1859)
Prager Zeitung (10/05/1859)