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Albert Sammons

The career of Albert Sammons (1886–1957) centred largely on his native country, a limitation due in good part to his distinct reluctance to travel. Born in London, the son of a shoemaker, he was first taught the violin by his father and elder brother, with later lessons, briefly, from two pupils of Eugène Ysaÿe. His early career, from the age of fifteen, was spent playing in theatre orchestras, with summer hotel seasons, until discovered by Sir Thomas Beecham, who employed him before long as leader of his new orchestra. In a long career he was closely associated with chamber music and with the performance of English music by his contemporaries, and made a memorable recording of Elgar’s Violin Concerto in 1929. Delius dedicated to him his own Violin Concerto, which had its première in 1919, and he led the first performances of Elgar’s String Quartet and Piano Quintet. The same composer’s Violin Sonata also became a part of his repertoire and he recorded the work with the pianist William Murdoch in 1935.

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