The Early Years 1759 - 1814


Information for the early years is very sketchy. Neither Birmingham Library or the Cadbury Research Library have a full set of programmes.


The first of the Triennial Festivals was held in 1784 but I have included what information I have been able to gather regarding Festivals held prior to that year.


10 &11 October 1759


Vocal: Messrs Wass, Price, Mence, Saville & Brown. Master Carpenter.


Conductor: Mr Hobbs


Principle works: Handel's L'Allegro, Coronation Anthem. Solomon by Boyce.


A ball after each performance.


16 – 18 September 1760


Vocal: Miss Young, Messrs Beard, Champness, Baildon & Hudson.


Instrumental: Signora Passerini (leader)


Conductor: Mr Hobbs.


Principle works: Handel's Messiah, Samson and Judas Maccabaeus.


A ball after each performance.


21 – 23 October 1767


Vocal: Miss Thomas, Messrs Norris, Matthews, Price and Saville.


Instrumental: Mr Hobbs Organ.


Conductor: Mr Capel Bond.


Principle works: Handel's Messiah, Samson and Acis & Galatea.


A ball after each performance.


7 – 9 September 1768


Vocal: Mrs Pinto, Mr Norris, Mr Matthews, Mr Price


Instrumental: Messrs Pinto, Bond (trumpet), Millar, Adcock.


Conductor: Mr Capel Bond, Coventry.


Principal works: Handel's L'Allegro, Alexanders Feast and Messiah


​7 – 9 September 1774


Vocal: Miss Davies, Miss Wrighton, Messrs Norris, Price and Mattews


Instrumental: Signor Giardini (leader), Messrs Crosdil, Storace, Jenkins, Ashley, Parke.


Principle works: Handel's Messiah, Dettingum Te Deum, Jubilate, Judas Maccabaeus, Alexanders Feast. Also a miscellaneous concert.


2 – 4 September 1778


Vocal: Miss Mahon, Miss Salmon, Messrs Norris, Matthews, Price and Salmon


Instrumental: Messrs Cramer, Carvetto, Park, Ashley, Storacci, Jenkins and Mahon.


Morning: St Philip's Church

2 September 1778: Handel Dettingen Te Deum, Coronation Anthem

3 September 1778: Handel Judas Maccabeus

4 September 1778: Handel Messiah


Evening: Theatre Royal, New Street

2 September 1778: Miscellaneous Concert

3 September 1778: Serenata Acis and Galatea

4 September 1778: Miscellaneous Concert.


20 - 22 September 1780.


Vocal: Mrs Wrighten, Miss Mahon, Messrs Saville, Matthews & Price.


Instrumental: Mr Parke, Mr Crosdill (Violin), Mr Cramer (Violin).

Principle works: Handel's Messiah, Jephtha & Acis & Galatea. Dates not known.

20 September 1780: Grand Miscellaneous Concert. Theatre Royal, New Street. Works performed included:

Recitative - Mrs Wrighten, Song - Mrs Wrighten, Concerto - Mr Cramer, Concerto - Mr Parke, Solo - Mr Crosdill, Bertoni - Miss Mahon, Terradelas - Miss Mahon and Symphony 6th Abel.


22 - 24 September 1784


Vocal: Mr Parke, Miss Abrams, Master Bartleman, Norris, Price, Walton and Matthews.


Instrumental: Messrs Wilson, Ashley, Gariboldi, Clarke, Sargent, Crosdil, Mahon (Clarinet)


23 September 1784: Performance at St Philip’s Church of works by Handel

Part 1 - Overture Esther, The Dettingen Te Deum.

Part 2 - Overture Tamerlane, With the Dead March in Saul, Glori Patri Jubilate

Part 3 - First Grand Concerto, Chorus Gird on thy Sword Saul, Anthem O Sing to the Lord, chorus The Lord Shall Reign Israel in Egypt, Zadock the Priest.

24 September 1784: Performance at New Street Theatre. A miscellaneous concert.

Overture - Haydn, Clarinet Concerto - Mr Mahon, Violin Concerto - Mr Wilton.



23 September 1784: Goliath, an Oratorio, New Street Theatre

24 September 1784: – No information.


22 - 24 August 1787


Vocal: Miss Harwood, Master Ashley, Messrs Harrison, Saville, Matthews and Sale, Mrs Billington,


Instrumentalists: Mr Crosdil, Mr Parke, Mrs Griffiths, Mr Cramer


Morning: St Philip's Church
22 August 1787: No information.

23 August 1787: Third performance. Israel in Egypt.
24 August 1787: The Messiah.


Evening: The Theatre, New Street..

22 August 1787: Grand miscellaneous concert.

23 August 1787: Fourth performance. Grand miscellaneous concert including Cello Concerto with Crosdil as soloist, Overtures Iphigenie and Saul. Various songs/airs by Handel, Purcell and anon.

24 August 1787: Sixth performance. Grand miscellaneous concert.


25 - 27 August 1790

Vocal: Mr Reinhold, Mr Saville, Madame Mara, Miss Mahon, Miss Abrams, Mr Knyvett, Mr Norris.


26 August 1790: Handel: Messiah

27 August 1790: Acis and Galatea, The Theatre, New Street

27 August 1790: Miscellaneous Concert St Philip's Church.


1793 – No festival as theatre burned down.


31 August - 2 September 1796

Vocal: Madame Mara, Mr Kelly, Miss Fletcher, Mr Bartleman, Mr Nield. Mrs Second.


Instrumental: C Ashley (cello), Mr Erskine (Oboe). Mr Cramer (Violin),Mr Mahon (Clarinet)



1 September 1796: No information.

2 September 1796: Messiah at St Philips Church.


Evening: The Theatre, New Street.

1 September 1796: L’Allegro ed il Pensiero.
2 September 1796 : A Grand Miscellaneous Concert.


18 – 20 September 1799


Vocal: Madame Mara, Miss Poole. Messrs Harrison, Bartleman and W Knyvett.


Principal Works: The Messiah, L'Allegro and Il Peseroso. Selections from Handel, Corelli and Germaniani.


22 - 24 September 1802


Vocal: Mr Denman, Miss Tennant, Madame Dusseck, Mr Braham, Mrs Mountain.


Instrumental: Mr Lindley (cello), Mr Ashe (flute), Miss Cantelos (Pedal Harp) Messrs Leanders (French Horns)

22 September 1802: A Grand Miscellaneous Concert, The Theatre, New Street

23 September 1802: No information.

24 September 1802: A Grand Miscellaneous Concert, The Theatre, New Street


2 - 4 October 1805


Vocal: Mr Harrison, Mr Bartleman, Mr W Knyvett, Mrs Billington, Mr and Mrs Vaughan, Miss S R Melville


Instrumental: Mr Cramer (violin), Mr Moralt (violin) Mr Holmes (Basoon), Messrs Petrides (French Horns).

3 October 1805: A Grand Miscellaneous Concert, The Theatre, New Street
4 October 1805: A Grand Selection of Sacred Music, principally from the works of Handel & Haydn, at St. Philip’s Church including The Messiah


5 - 7 October 1808


Vocal: Mrs Billington, Mr Braham, Miss Hawkins, Mr & Mrs Vaughan, Signor Naldi, Mr Machin, Master Buggins, Mr Elliott, Mr Goss.


Instrumental: Signor Anfossi (Double Bass), Mr Ashe (Flute), F Cramer, Moralt, R Lindley, Ashley.


5 October 1808: No information.:
6 October 1808: A Grand Miscellaneous Concert, The Theatre, New Street including Overture Mozart, Double Bass concerto, various songs/arias, Concertanti for violin, tenor, cello, oboe, clarinet and bassoon, Scene form the opera Argonide E Serse by Braham.

7 October 1808: No information.


2 - 4 October 1811


Vocal: Miss Catalani, Mr Braham, Mr Lacy, Mr Knyvett, Mr Vaughan, Mr Bellamy, Miss Melville, Signor Tramezzani, Mrs Bianchi.


Instrumental: Mr Erskine (Oboe), Mr Holmes (Basoon), R Lindley (Cello), Mr Ashe (Flute), Mr Petrides & Mr Sharp (French Horns), S Wesley (Organ)


Morning: St Philip's Church
2 October 1811: A sacred concert, Overture Esther by Handel and Purcell's Te Deum.
3 October 1811: The Messiah.

4 October 1811: A sacred concert. Overture Iomelli, various songs/arias by Handel, Haydn etc.


Evening: Theatre Royal, New Street.

All Concerts shown as Grand Miscellaneous Concert.

2 October 1811: No information.

3 October 1811 Overture Mozart, Flute Concerto with Ashe as soloist, Overture Iphigenia by Gluck. Various songs/arias.

4 October 1811: No information.


5 - 7 October 1814

Vocal: Mr & Mrs Vaughan, Mr Bartleman, Mr Bellamy, Miss Catalani, Mr Bellamy, Mr W Knyvett, Miss Stephens, Miss Travis, Miss Smethurst, Miss Stott, Miss Russell, W Elliott, Mr Evans, J Elliott, S Buggins, Mr Denman, Mr Tett.


Instrumental: Mr R Lindley (Cello), Mr Holmes (Basoon), Messrs Petrides (Horns), Mr Ireland (Flute).

Morning: St Philip's Church.
5 October 1814: A sacred concert. Overture Esther, The Dettingen Te Deum and Grand Coronation Anthem by Handel. Various songs/arias.
6 October 1814: The Messiah.
7 October 1814: A sacred concert. Overture Saul by Handel and various songs/arias. In Part II Grand Chorus from La Tempesta and Part I of The Creation by Haydn. In Part III Oboe Concerto by Handel and various songs/arias.


Evening: Theatre Royal, New Street.

All Concerts shown as Grand Miscellaneous Concert.

5 October 1814: Part I Anacreon Overture by Cherubini, scene for Mozart's Don Juan and various songs/arias. Part II Overture Mozart, Cello Concerto R Lindley and various songs/arias.

6 October 1814: Part I Les Deux Journees Overture by Cherubini, Bassoon Concerto Mr Holmes, The Frost Scene from King Arthur by Purcell and various songs/arias. In Part II Overture Iphingenia by Gluck, Echo Concerto for French Horns Messrs Petrides and various songs/arias.

7 October 1814: Part I Overture Lodoiska by Cherubini, Flute Concerto Mr Ireland and various songs/arias. In Part II Overture (not named) by Cherubini, Cello Concerto R Lindley and various songs/arias


Birmingham Triennial Music Festivals