Composers / Thomas Tellefsen / Routes


Trasa Thomas Tellefsen in Great Britain

During the February Revolution of 1848 in France, King Louis Philippe was deposed, and the capital was plunged into chaos; food was in short supply, and illness was rife. This forced both the royal family and numerous aristocrats to abandon Paris and move to London. For artists, this meant that the French capital lost the ability to support them. Numerous musicians and composers, such as Kallbrenner, Thalberg, Moscheles and Chopin, chose to move to London. Jane Stirling (1804–1859), a student of Chopin from around 1843/44, who belonged to the Stirlings of Keir, a wealthy Scottish aristocratic family, suggested that Chopin relocate to London, promising to find him other students and other activities. It is believed that she also invited Thomas Tellefsen to follow their teacher there. Once in London, Tellefsen found many of his Parisian friends, including Princess Marcelina Czartoryska, to whom he dedicated his Mazurkas, Op. 3. He also met there the man in whose honour he had received his name: the English politician Sir Thomas Dyke Acland (1778–1871).

Thomas Tellefsen and Jane Stirling knew each other well, studying under Chopin at around the same time. They remained friends also after their master’s death, when Jane Stirling continued her education under Tellefsen. His stay in Scotland in 1848 resulted in numerous visits to the country over the following years (1849, 1850, 1851, 1857 and 1869), during which he taught the same group of aristocrats. The riots resulting from the Franco-Prussian War again found him exiled in Great Britain. This time, he stayed there for over two years, from November 1870 to the summer of 1873. The Tellefsens lived in London, where – thanks to the composer's numerous acquaintances – they were soon able to support themselves with lessons and concerts.