Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement/Blumenthal, Jacques

1497211Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement, Volume 1 — Blumenthal, Jacques1912Frederick Corder

BLUMENTHAL, JACQUES [JACOB] (1829–1908), composer of songs, born at Hamburg on 4 Oct. 1829, was son of Abraham Lucas Blumenthal. Destined from youth for the musical profession, he studied under F. W. Grand in Hamburg and under C. M. von Bocklet and Sechter in Vienna. He entered the Paris Conservatoire in 1846, studying the piano under Herz, and also under Halevy. In 1848 he settled in London, becoming pianist to Queen Victoria and a fashionable teacher, and was naturalised as a British subject. He published numerous fugitive piano pieces and a very large number of songs, some of which, such as 'The Message' and 'The Requital' (1864) and 'We Two' (1879), achieved a lasting popularity. His more ambitious attempts at composition attracted no attention. A pianoforte trio and a 'Morceau de Concert for Piano,' both early works, were printed; but his published 'Albums of Songs' alone represented his characteristic work.

He died on 17 May 1908 in Cheyne Walk, Chelsea. He married in 1868 Leonie Souvoroff Gore, leaving no issue. In accordance with his wish, his widow assigned the valuable copyrights of his songs to the Royal Society of Musicians. His portrait, painted in 1878 by G. F. Watts, R.A., was presented by his widow to the Royal College of Music.

[Grove's Dict.; Musical World, June 1908; Musical Times, June 1908; personal inquiry.]

F. C.