AfL March Seminar

Is it really Albert’s Hall? How one woman’s determination shaped the evolution of the arts and sciences in South Kensington.

Wednesday 27th March 2019, 18.00 – 19.30 (doors open at 17.30)
Huntley Room, London Metropolitan Archives

Prince Albert is forever connected to the great hall in South Kensington that bears his name, and has long been seen as the iconic symbol of Albert’s work for the arts and sciences. However, it seems that the great hall was conceived after his death by Queen Victoria, their son Bertie, and the entrepreneur Henry Cole. This seminar will therefore discuss the ‘real’ story behind Albert’s Hall. Beginning with his work for the Great Exhibition, we will turn to how Queen Victoria chose to celebrate and continue Albert’s legacy after his death in 1861. This seminar will include an examination of documents from a number of archives, including letters in Albert’s own hand, and examples of music which were performed during the Hall’s early years.

Fiona Gibbs graduated from the Royal College of Music in 2018 with a doctorate in Music. She is hoping to publish her thesis, ‘The Royal Albert Hall: A Case Study of an Evolving Cultural Venue’ in the near future. Fiona has previously spoken for Archives for London in 2014 and at the BBC Proms, the Royal Musical Association, Imperial College, Ted Talks and the Foundation for International Education. A professional violinist, Fiona performs regularly on a freelance basis and she is part of several chamber ensembles and orchestras, including The Gibbs Trio, with her brothers. In 2012 Fiona co-founded ‘Orchestra Vitae’, which provides musical workshops for schoolchildren in London.

Alongside her academic and performance work, Fiona teaches violin, piano and music theory.

Advance booking is essential. Please book your place through Eventbrite or by telephoning Alex Fisher (AfL Secretary) on 020 7594 8818.

Free for AfL members, £6 for non-members