The Hector Berlioz Website

Berlioz Photo Album : Royalty and nobility (1)

Unless otherwise stated all pictures on Berlioz Photos pages have been scanned from engravings, paintings, postcards and other publications in our own collection. All rights of reproduction reserved.


Georg V King of Hanover (1819-1878)

Berlioz first met the King during his 1843 visit to Hanover when he was the Crown Prince. He attended Berlioz’s concert in the Court Theatre and was well-disposed and gracious to him. Berlioz made two further visits to Hanover, in 1853 and 1854, to give concerts in the Court Theatre and on those occasions too met with the enthusiasm of the King and his Queen.

The King of Hanover had lost sight in one eye during a childhood illness and in the other by an accident in 1833.

Friedrich Wilhelm IV King of Prussia (1840-1861)

Berlioz met the King and Queen of  Prussia during his visits to Berlin in 1843 and 1847, and dedicated the Treatise on Orchestration to the King. They also met at celebrations organised by Liszt to commemorate the inauguration of a statue of Beethoven in Bonn in August 1845. While there Berlioz received an invitation from Count von Redern on behalf of the King to attend a Court Concert at Brühl castle near Bonn.

Empress Augusta Marie Luise Katharina

Berlioz first met Princess Augusta of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach in Berlin in 1843 (and in his subsequent visits to Bonn in 1845 and Berlin in 1847), when she was married to the King’s brother who was Crown Prince of Prussia. She later became Queen of Prussia when her husband succeeded to the throne in 1861 as Wilhelm I.

While still Princess she was a frequent visitor to the festival in Baden-Baden in years when Berlioz conducted it (1853, 1857, 1861). As Queen, she attended a gala performance of Béatrice et Bénédict in Weimar on 8 April 1863 and two performances of the opera in Baden-Baden on 14 and 18 August of the same year, and was generous in her compliments. In 1871 she was declared Empress of Germany. 

Empress Augusta Marie Luise Katharina

Empress Augusta Marie Luise Katharina

We are grateful to our friend Mary Weber for her valuable assistance regarding the entry on Princess of Prussia on this page.

Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859)

Berlioz’s regard for Humboldt, the celebrated naturalist and explorer, went back to his youth and his passion for geography and foreign lands which he mentions in the Memoirs (chapters 2, 12), a passion stimulated by reading all the books he could find in his father’s library, including Humboldt’s Tableaux de la Nature of 1808, and later in life his Cosmos volumes. Berlioz met Humboldt in Paris in 1842 and later in Berlin in 1843 and 1847, where Humboldt was closely attached to the court of King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia since his accession in 1840. According to Hugh Macdonald, it may also have been Humboldt who suggested to Berlioz that he dedicate his treatise on orchestration to the King (see above).

The above picture shows Humboldt at around the time Berlioz met him in Berlin.

Alexander von Humboldt as a young man

This picture shows Humboldt as a young man. The original painting, by Friedrich Georg Weitsch, is at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin-Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Alte Nationalgalerie Berlin.

Friedrich Wilhelm Konstantin of Hohenzollern-Hechingen (1801-1869)

The Prince was an ardent admirer of Berlioz and his music. At the Prince’s invitation, Berlioz gave a concert in January 1843 at Hechingen, and in April 1863 at Löwenberg, where by then the Price resided. Berlioz dedicated his overture Roman Carnival to the Prince in 1844.

© (unless otherwise stated) Monir Tayeb and Michel Austin for all the texts and images on Berlioz Photo Album pages.
All rights of reproduction reserved.


Photo Album main page