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The African Prince

Updated on July 19, 2011

George Augustus Polgreen Bridgetower

George Augustus Polgreen Bridgetower an African-American Violinist accompanied by the famous Ludwig Von Beethoven. Beethoven would write letter of introduction for him and yes, even write a sonata for him. Yet he is virtually unknown to the world. This a most grievous and unfortunate incident that cannot continue to go unnoticed. Therefore this article will shed some light on the life and time of George Augustus Polgren Bridgetower. (1789-1860)

George A.P. Bridgetower attracted the attention of Kings, Princes, Art lovers and great composers. Beethoven was one of those composers. The royalty paid exorbitant amounts to hear him play. He was the private musician of King George IV of England, Samuel Wesley, the famous organist and composer of hymns, eulogized him. Those who heard him claim that, when he drew his boy across the violin, “the sound that emerged seem to come from some remote distance of the universe” Some of the patrons claim, they were transported upon “hearing the sounds”

The birth Of George A.P. Bridgetower

He was born in Poland in 1789, of an African father and either German or Polish mother, his father known, as “The African Prince” was an accomplished musician and linguist. Artist must work hard to secure their success; this was not the case with Bridgetower. He was not ten years of age when he appeared in Paris. This is the point were he secured his fan base.

After That Concert

His father became the most sought after persons in the French capital. The people want to hear and see this little colored boy the pupil of Giornovinchi, at every venue he proved be more startling than many could perceive. The Prince of Whales was so enamored with the child he was taken into the orchestra of the Prince. Bridgetower gave many private recitals for the prince and his associates. Bridgetower and the Prince remain friends after the Prince became King of Wales. Many people wanted an audience with the king so they would request a favor of Bridgetower, who was always in the company of the King.

His Fame Continues

He made and appearance in England were the going price of a seat was five guineas (26.00) A London paper states, “The young African Prince, whose musical talent is continuously celebrated had a more splendid concert on Sunday that has ever been seen in this place.

What was Said Of Him

A famous violinist of the time Ruzzuni declares he had never heard such execution, not even from his friends. “His taste and execution is equal to or greater than the violinist of that day “, claims La Motte. Many at the previously mentioned concert were turned a way without hearing him. He was the center of attraction, wherever the elite gathered they want to hear him.

Bridgetower was the idol of the music world of London; no composition seemed difficult for him. After studying with Attwell and Haydn, the famous composers Bridgetower when to Dresden to see his mother. He took letters of introduction from the King of Wales to the people in the highest musical circles. He is rapidly approaching manhood now he is described as follows: Medium build, dark soulful eyes, and dark complexion with curly hair. He took Germany by storm an introduction by Prince lichnowsky to Beethoven led to a lasting friendship. Once Beethoven composed a sonata for him but at the later changed his mind. The rumor has it the Countess Guiccardi expressed an abundance of admiration for Bridgetower a person Beethoven was fond of. The name of the sonata is Kreutzer. This is another segment of the digging up bones series.

Ray Brown and Regina

Modern sounds of violin


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    • platinumOwl4 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      suziecat7, I thank you very much for your comment, I am eternally pleased when you comment on my writing.

    • suziecat7 profile image


      6 years ago from Asheville, NC

      Thanks for the introduction to this talented man. Great read. Rated up!

    • platinumOwl4 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Thank You Lady_E, your comment is always welcomed and I have many more violinist of and around the era.

      James A Watkins, I am truly honored that you dropped by and thanks for the gracious comment.

      Hypenbird, Thank you for your comment, reading your hubs I get the feeling I know every person you describe. Thanks for stopping by

      Phil Plasma, thank you for your comment, and as the spirit moves me I will present more. again thanks for stopping by.

    • Lady_E profile image


      7 years ago from London, UK

      First time I have heard of him.

      A very interesting read. Thanks.

    • platinumOwl4 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Finally, the great James A. Watkins arrived. I am extremely pleased to read your comment,and equally please that you enjoyed my hub. After your article on President Andrew Jackson, I had to take a second look at Hamilton reasons for coping the Bank of England which you know is the brain child of the Rothchild's.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      Thank you for publishing this excellent article. I had not heard of Mr. Bridgetower and it is good of you to bring him to light. Well done!

    • platinumOwl4 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Hyphenbird, when I receive a comment from someone of your caliber I am elated. I read everything you publish, you have the talent for creating excellent stories. Often I am like the Clint Eastwood trilogy when I a writing. I publish the good, bad and the ugly. Again, often it is not pleasant. However, I believe this is the only way we can clear the air and move ahead triumphantly.

      You have a very pleasant day, again thanks for commenting on my hub.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 

      7 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Very interesting. I had no idea and love to learn. Thanks so much. Hyph

    • platinumOwl4 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Phil Plasma, thank you for being the first to comment on this hub. I hope you will not be the last.

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 

      7 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      It is good that you bring to light so much about a person of whom so little was known. Thanks for sharing, you get an interesting from me.


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