On March 13, 1781, the musician and composer, William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus with a self-made telescope in Bath, England. Herschel was born in 1738 in Hanover, and he played, together with his father and brothers in the Hanoverian Guards Regiment Military Band. William moved to England at the beginning of the Seven Years’ War in 1757, where he earned his living as a musician, music copyist, conductor, and composer. Among his earliest compositions are 3 viola concertos 1759-1762, which he himself premiered as soloist in London. Herschel composed 24 symphonies, numerous instrumental works, and a large body of sacred works for choir and organ, most of which have been lost. At the time of his astonishing discovery, Herschel was musical director of the symphony orchestra in Bath as well as organist and choirmaster at the Octagon Chapel, where the Royal Family attended services when taking their cure in the local Roman-built baths.
William Herschel’s viola concertos:
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