Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Neate, Charles (1784-1877)

NEATE, CHARLES (1784–1877), pianist and composer, born in London on 28 March 1784, gained his earliest musical education on the pianoforte from James Windsor of Bath, and on the violoncello from William Sharp. Subsequently he studied the pianoforte under John Field, and composition under Woelfl. On 2 March 1806 Neate was admitted a member of the Royal Society of Musicians. In 1813 he was one of the original members of the Philharmonic Society, of which he became a director and at whose concerts he was often a performer and occasionally conductor. In 1815 he spent eight months in Vienna, where he contracted a close intimacy with Beethoven, and for five months subsequently studied counterpoint with Winter at Munich. After spending two years abroad he returned to London, where he resided first in Foley Place, and afterwards in Charlotte Street. By this time he had acquired a considerable reputation as a pianist and teacher of music. He was the first to introduce to English audiences, at the Philharmonic Society's concerts, Beethoven's pianoforte concertos in C minor and E flat, Weber's Concertstuck, and Hummel's concerto in E and septuor in D minor. As a composer he lacked fancy and originality. He died at Brighton on 30 March 1877, after a retirement of many years. His wife predeceased him, and he left one son.

His compositions include a sonata in C minor for pianoforte, Op. 1, 1808; a sonata in D minor for pianoforte, 1822; a fantasia for pianoforte, with violoncello obbligato, 1825 (?); a hundred Impromptus for pianoforte, 1830; two trios for pianoforte, violin, and violoncello; and various quadrilles, fantasias, and minor pieces for pianoforte.

He was the author of 'An Essay on Fingering. … Together with some General Observations on Pianoforte Playing,' London [1855].

[Grove's Dict, of Music, ii. 450; Records of Royal Soc. of Musicians; Musical Directory of 1878, p. xiv; Quarterly Musical Magazine and Review, ii. 384; Brit. Mus. Catalogues.]

R. F. S.