The highly musical Anne of Hannover was born the second daughter of George II, the future King of England. During her childhood in London, she received harpsichord and theory lessons from none other than Handel. Her marriage to Prince William IV of Orange-Nassau brought her to the Netherlands, where she lived for a long time in the ‘Stadhouderlijk Hof’ in Leeuwarden. Here, she requested Jean Marie Leclair to come over from Paris to teach her. Frederick II of Prussia (the Great) was her pen pal and came to Soestdijk Palace to play music with her.
Anne’s keen artistic insight and qualities made a deep impression on the three gentlemen: she sang, played the harpsichord, flute, composed and painted. She also advised her husband Willem IV on state affairs and took over his duties as regent after his death. Both Händel and Leclair dedicated compositions to her and through Frederick the Great she came into contact with the works of J.S. Bach.
In honor of this remarkable woman, the Apollo Ensemble will play a Christmas program on Sunday 27 December 2020 that could have been devised by Anna van Hannover herself.
Ouverture “Parnasso in Festo” HWV 73