Sir Henry Joseph Wood (3 March 1869 – 19 August 1944) was an English conductor best known for his association with London's annual series of promenade concerts, known as the Proms. He conducted them for nearly half a century, introducing hundreds of new works to British audiences. After his death, the concerts were officially renamed in his honour as the "Henry Wood Promenade Concerts", although they continued to be generally referred to as "the Proms".

Born in modest circumstances to parents who encouraged his musical talent, Wood started his career as an organist. During his studies at the Royal Academy of Music, he came under the influence of the voice teacher Manuel Garcia and became his accompanist. After similar work for Richard D'Oyly Carte's opera companies on the works of Arthur Sullivan and others, Wood became the conductor of a small operatic touring company. He was soon engaged by the larger Carl Rosa Opera Company. One notable event in his operatic career was conducting the British premiere of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin in 1892.

From the mid-1890s until his death, Wood focused on concert conducting. He was engaged by the impresario Robert Newman to conduct a series of promenade concerts at the Queen's Hall, offering a mixture of classical and popular music at low prices. The series was successful, and Wood conducted annual promenade series until his death in 1944. By the 1920s, Wood had steered the repertoire entirely to classical music. When the Queen's Hall was destroyed by bombing in 1941, the Proms moved to the Royal Albert Hall.

Wood declined the chief conductorships of the New York Philharmonic and Boston Symphony Orchestras, believing it his duty to serve music in the United Kingdom. In addition to the Proms, he conducted concerts and festivals throughout the country and also trained the student orchestra at the Royal Academy of Music. He had an enormous influence on the musical life of Britain over his long career: he and Newman greatly improved access to classical music, and Wood raised the standard of orchestral playing and nurtured the taste of the public, presenting a vast repertoire of music spanning four centuries.

Birth and Death Data: Born March 3, 1869 (London), Died August 19, 1944 (Hertfordshire)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1915 - 1925

Roles Represented in DAHR: conductor, arranger

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 146 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Columbia 6584 12-in. approximately 1915 Introduction, act 3 New Queen's Hall Orchestra ; Henry J. Wood Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 6585 12-in. approximately 1915 Prelude in C sharp minor New Queen's Hall Orchestra ; Henry J. Wood Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 6586 12-in. approximately 1915 Symphony no. 4 New Queen's Hall Orchestra ; Henry J. Wood Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 6587 12-in. approximately 1915 Shepherd's hey New Queen's Hall Orchestra ; Henry J. Wood Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 6588 12-in. approximately 1915 Träume New Queen's Hall Orchestra ; Henry J. Wood Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 6605 12-in. approximately 1915 When all was young Clara Butt ; C. Warwick Evans ; Henry J. Wood Contralto vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 6606 12-in. approximately 1915 O mio Fernando Clara Butt ; Henry J. Wood Contralto vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 6607 12-in. approximately 1915 O rest in the Lord Clara Butt ; Henry J. Wood Contralto vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 6642 12-in. approximately 1915 Prelude & Liebestod New Queen's Hall Orchestra ; Henry J. Wood Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 6643 12-in. approximately 1915 Prelude & Liebestod New Queen's Hall Orchestra ; Henry J. Wood Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 6655 12-in. approximately 1915 Ombra mai fu Clara Butt Female vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 6656 12-in. approximately 1915 Mon cœur s'ouvre a ta voix Clara Butt ; Henry J. Wood Contralto vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 6675 12-in. approximately 1915 Tannhäuser grand march New Queen's Hall Orchestra ; Henry J. Wood Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 6676 12-in. approximately 1915 Rhapsody España New Queen's Hall Orchestra ; Henry J. Wood Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 6677 12-in. approximately 1915 Coriolan overture New Queen's Hall Orchestra ; Henry J. Wood Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 6678 12-in. approximately 1915 Irish tune from County Derry New Queen's Hall Orchestra ; Henry J. Wood Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 6708 12-in. approximately 1916 Die Walküre, prelude, act 3 New Queen's Hall Orchestra ; Henry J. Wood Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 6709 12-in. approximately 1916 Dance of the apprentices New Queen's Hall Orchestra ; Henry J. Wood Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 6710 12-in. approximately 1916 Song of the Rhine daughters New Queen's Hall Orchestra ; Henry J. Wood Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 6711 12-in. approximately 1916 Shepherd Fennel's dance New Queen's Hall Orchestra ; Henry J. Wood Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 6764 12-in. approximately 1916 Hungarian dance no. 5 New Queen's Hall Orchestra ; Henry J. Wood Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 6765 12-in. approximately 1916 Hungarian dance no. 6 New Queen's Hall Orchestra ; Henry J. Wood Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 6766 12-in. approximately 1916 Tills merry pranks: or a rogue's New Queen's Hall Orchestra ; Henry J. Wood Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 6767 12-in. approximately 1916 Che faro Clara Butt ; Henry J. Wood Contralto vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 6768 12-in. approximately 1916 O divine redeemer Clara Butt ; Henry J. Wood Female vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
(Results 1-25 of 146 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Wood, Henry J.," accessed January 16, 2022, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/351463.

Wood, Henry J.. (2022). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved January 16, 2022, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/351463.

"Wood, Henry J.." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2022. Web. 16 January 2022.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/351463

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