Diary cover
Diary cover

U.C. Hill, violinist and founder of the New York Philharmonic was  the first American musician to travel abroad to study music. In 1835 the American-born entrepreneur left New York on a 2-year tour to London, Rotterdam, Kassel, Dusseldorf, and Paris. This diary, held in the Philharmonic Archives, is where he chronicled his story. 

In these pages Hill explains:  "Had we have had a good school for musick at home it would have saved me this great undertaking. I have for years felt the want of it. In the first place to inspire full confidence in myself, and in the next place to enable me to come at once to the object of my question.  In America, I could only arrive at what I needed to know by diverse expediants and reasonings, which many times consumed more time than it would have if under proper guidance. And then, many times, not feel fully certain that my work was yet correct." In 1837, he returned to New York with the confidence and experience of a professionally-trained musician. Five years later he led a meeting of local musicians from Europe and America who voted to establish the Philharmonic Society of New York, commonly known as the New York Philharmonic. 

Place(s): New York; London; Dusseldorf; Kassel; Paris
Year: 1835

– New York Philharmonic Archives

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant