Ethel Leginska

New Theatre, Kingston Square, HU1 3HF. Grid C1

Ethel Leginska (nee Liggins) was born in Hull in 1886. She began piano lessons as an infant, and gave her first public recital in April 1895, at St George’s Hall in Storey Street (now the site of the Wilberforce Health Centre). She also played at the Assembly Rooms in Kingston Square (now the New Theatre) in January 1897. Thanks to the patronage of Mary Wilson, wife of Arthur of the Wilson Line shipping company, Ethel studied piano and composition at the Hoch Conservatoire in Frankfurt. Following this, she performed at the Hull Assembly Rooms a further six times between 1906 and 1910. Ethel went on to be the first woman to conduct several of the world’s leading orchestras (including the Berlin Philharmonic), and the first woman to conduct grand opera in a leading opera house. She died in 1970.

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