The Haydn plaque is unveiled!

I was delighted to join a crowd of excited Haydn fans in Soho, London today for the unveiling of a blue plaque in honour of the composer Joseph Haydn, who lived at 18 Great Pulteney Street in 1791.

At midday on 24th March 2015, to the cheers of the assembled crowd, Sir Neville Marriner unveiled a commemorative blue plaque in central London to celebrate the work of the composer Joseph Haydn. Sir Neville was joined by Denis McCaldin, director of the Haydn Society of Great Britain, and the Austrian ambassador, who both spoke ahead of the unveiling.

The plaque is the first dedicated to Haydn in London. When he visited for the first time in 1791, the composer was at least as popular as his contemporary, Mozart. Though Mozart has three plaques in London, until today Haydn had none, despite fifty years of attempts to establish one.

Taking inspiration from the successful subscription concerts of his day, the Haydn Society of Great Britain ran a lively and successful crowdfunding campaign to commission and install the plaque.

The Haydn plaque can be seen at 18 Great Pulteney Street, Soho, London W1F 9NE.

(This article first appeared on Norman Lebrecht’s Slipped Disc)

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