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A group surrounds a harpsichord playing instruments

Many members of the royal family were talented musicians

John Hoppner (1758-1810)

Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) 1791-92

RCIN 406987

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Franz Joseph Haydn first came to England in January 1791. His arrival sparked much interest, no doubt heightened by the bow given to him by George IV, then Prince of Wales, at a court ball at St James's Palace. From March onwards, Haydn played a regular concert series at the Hanover Square Rooms, a venue patronised by both royalty and aristocracy. In December that year the prince invited Haydn to visit the Duke and Duchess of York at their country estate. Music was played almost perpetually during this trip; Haydn conducted symphonies for the pianoforte while the prince played the violoncello. This portrait was commissioned by the prince during this first highly successful visit to England.