Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 42.djvu/296

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Osborne
Osborne
290

3 Feb. 1879 and 5 April 1880 (cf. published proceedings of those dates). Osborne was one of the four pianists who played the accompaniments to Chopin's F minor concerto on the pianoforte (the composer playing the solo part) at the famous concert in Paris on 26 Feb. 1832. When Berlioz and Chopin visited England, Osborne was much with them (cf. Berlioz, Mémoires, Paris, 1870, letter 10, cap. lxi.).

Osborne while living in Paris continued his musical studies under Pixis, Fétis, Reicha, and Kalkbrenner. At the same time he wrote a large number of compositions, chiefly of a light character. But he was also the author of some chamber-music, which has been undeservedly neglected. At the beginning of 1844 Osborne quitted Paris, and settled in London (cf. Proceedings of the Musical Association, 1882–3, p. 103). He had already published his ‘La Pluie de Perles,’ which is declared to have brought him several thousands of pounds, and its popularity gained for him numerous pupils in London, where his vogue as a teacher lasted almost until his death. For some years Osborne wrote many refined drawing-room trifles, and occasionally he issued works on a more extensive scale, such as the andante and rondo written for Herr Joachim. He also played not infrequently in public, making tours of the provinces with distinguished artists (cf. Proceedings of the Musical Association, 6th session, p. 101). Osborne, although upwards of eighty years of age, made his last appearance in public at a ‘social evening of the wind-instrument chamber-music society’ on 15 Nov. 1889, when he played the pianoforte part of his quintet for wood-wind and pianoforte (Musical Times, 1889, p. 725). Osborne died at his residence, 5 Ulster Terrace, Regent's Park, London, on 17 Nov. 1893.

Osborne excelled in his performances of Bach, but many young musicians were wont to seek his advice as to the correct manner of playing Chopin. As a composer, he was by no means seen at his best in the trifles which achieved the widest popularity. A clever violoncello sonata and a serenade are musicianly works; but, in addition to chamber-music, he also wrote two operas, one of which has not been published. The other, ‘Sylvia,’ was set down for performance at Drury Lane Theatre, under the Harrison-Pyne régime, and even put in rehearsal, but it was never performed. Three orchestral overtures, one in C written for the Brighton festival of 1875, are worthy of mention. While living in Belgium Osborne was decorated by the king with the order of the Oak-Crown. He was also a member of the Philharmonic Society of London, a director of the Royal Academy of Music, and for years a prominent member of the Musical Association. He was a genial and kind friend to young musicians, and an admirable public speaker, especially when speaking extemporaneously.

[Authorities quoted in the text ; Times. 22 Nov. 1893; Musical Times, December 1893 and January 1894; private information.]

R. H. L.


OSBORNE or OSBORN, HENRY (1698?–1771), admiral, born before 1698, third son of Sir John Osborne, bart., of Chicksands, Bedfordshire [see under Osborne, Peter], after serving as a volunteer and midshipman on board the Superbe with Captain Monypenny in the Mediterranean, and afterwards in the Lion with Captain Bouler, passed his examination on 8 March 1716–7. On 7 July 1717 he was promoted by Sir George Byng in the Baltic to be lieutenant of the Barfleur. In 1718 he was in the Royal Oak, one of the fleet in the action off Cape Passaro, and in 1719 in the Experiment, one of a squadron on the north coast of Africa, under the command of Commodore Philip Cavendish. During the following years he served in the Preston, Nassau, Hector, Chichester, Yarmouth, and Leopard; and on 4 Jan. 1727–8 was promoted to be captain of the Squirrel, a small 20-gun frigate. In 1734 he commanded the Portland in the Channel, and in 1738 the Salisbury, one of the ships which went to the Mediterranean with Sir Chaloner Ogle [q. v.] in 1739. In September 1740 he was appointed to the Prince of Orange, one of the fleet which sailed with Ogle for the West Indies, but, being disabled in a storm, put into Lisbon for repairs before proceeding. In June 1741 he was moved by Vernon into the Chichester, and returned to England with Commodore Richard Lestock [q. v.]; he was then moved to the Princess Caroline, which he took out to the Mediterranean. The Princess Caroline was an 80-gun three-decker, a class of ships generally condemned as so crank that they could seldom open their lower-deck ports. The Princess Caroline was unable to do so in the action off Toulon on 11 Feb. 1743–4; ‘her captain,’ Mathews wrote, ‘whose conduct and behaviour proves him to be a very good officer, was obliged to scuttle the deck to vent the water, she took it in so fast.’ At the court-martial afterwards held on Admiral Richard Lestock [q. v.], Osborn deposed that in his opinion it was Lestock's neglect to get into station on the evening of the 10th and during the night that was a principal cause of the miscarriage.

On 15 July 1747 Osborn was promoted to