In Search of Edward Cahill's 'At Home' London recitals. A recent walking tour of Mayfair and elsewhere in and around the great metropolis

Edward Cahill (1885-1975)
For those of you who have been following my ongoing work in progress in the many postings over the last two years concerning the brilliant but forgotten Australian pianist Edward Cahill, I have been in London for the last two weeks searching out the surviving great town houses that 'Uncle Eddie' played in and the residences he lived in during the 1920s and 1930s. Some houses were bombed during WWII and some buildings completely redeveloped such as Brook House in Park Lane (now an Aston Martin showroom).
Here is a selection of photographs I have taken with my trusty Leica.           

Click on to enlarge

28 Kensington Court London W.8  The London home 'lent' by the Dowager Lady Swathyling where Edward Cahill performed in January 1926
Some of the fine houses in Kensington Court London W.8. Mainly nineteenth century Flemish Gothic.

28 South Street London W.1 where Edward practised in an empty house on a piano owned by Gwyneth Quilter in 1926 

'Stranraer' Warrington Crescent London W.9 where Eddie gave his first harpsichord recital on a modern Pleyel instrument with Major Benton-Fletcher the great harpsichord collector, in attendance (file photo)
69 Brook Street London W.1 owned by Viscountess Harcourt where Edward Cahill and George Brooke played for Queen Mary and other distinguished guests on 1 July 1924. The Queen had not been 'out to dinner' for many years. Edward was mentioned in the Court Circular concerning this recital and so it became the astonishing beginning of his glittering London career. Now the premises of the Savile Club.

By some extraordinary serendipity I shall be having dinner there next week with our patron HRH the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Lord Bath and Lord Montagu of Beaulieu and about 60 other members of the Eccentric Club. An absolutely extraordinary coincidence 88 years later. I covered the last dinner with the Duke which took place at the Arts Club on 17 February 2010 in the posting

26 Randolph Crescent Maida Vale London W.9 where Eddie lived during his First and Second UK Tours 1923 and 1927
General view of Randolph Crescent Maida Vale London W.9 where Eddie lived during his First and Second UK Tours 1923 and 1927
The Hyde Park front of Norwich House, 4 Norfolk Street (now Dunraven Street) London W.1  'lent' by Mrs. Robert Emmet where on Monday June 29th 1925, Edward Cahill gave a recital in the presence of H.R.H. Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll. Reminiscent of the bow windows of a seaside promenade as if overlooking the 'sea' of Hyde Park.

Edward Cahill's patron Maud Denny's London residence at 73 Grosvenor Street London W.1 where Eddie and George hosted their own 'At Home' in May 1925. Now the London headquarters of Estee Lauder cosmetics.

77-78 Pall Mall, Westminster in 1950. Schomberg House - not to be confused with the other Schomberg House almost opposite. Home to HH Princess Helena Victoria and her sister HH Princess Marie Louise and where Edward Cahill gave a number of recitals in the 1930s

November 8, 1928 concert at 26, Belgrave Square, home of Lady Stradbroke.

Lady Quilter's (mother of the English art song composer Roger Quilter) house at 39 Upper Brook Street where Edward and George gave a concert in June 1925

On May 12th 1937 Eddie watched the coronation processsion of King George VI from this balcony at No. 7 Carlton House Terrace London SW1

Entrance to the home of Lady Violet Astor at 18 Carlton House Terrace London SW.1 where on May 19th 1924 Edward Cahill gave a piano recital for the benefit of the Irish Loyalists.

No.2 Carlton Gardens London SW.1  A Mr. Alfred Bossom MP for Maidstone lived at No. 5, Carlton Gardens. On June 14th 1928 Cahill gave a recital there where among distinguished guests  H.R.H. Princess Beatrice was to have been in attendance but she became ill. Cahill gave the recital to Princess Beatrice privately the very next day at Kensington Palace when she was feeling better. Lady Stradbroke and Lady Helena Rous were also in attendance. No.5 has now been redeveloped into a block of luxury apartments.

Below are some views of Horwood House and Gardens, Little Horwood, Buckinghamshire around 50 miles from London. The home was built by Sir Frederick and Maud Denny, great patrons of Edward Cahill. He stayed and played here for royalty on numerous occasions in the 1920s and 1930s. The gardens were designed by the renowned gardener Percy Thrower. Now a large business conference centre.

The etang

The etang from an upper room

Edward Cahill can be heard playing Liszt and Chopin using these free links:

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