Alexander Prince

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Alexander Prince, Duet concertina-player. He was born Alexander Sutherland, around 1870, in Aberdeen, Scotland, but later became established in Nottingham as a professional concertinist and achieved considerable fame as a soloist and prolific recording artist during the period 1906-1924.

"As an early concertina recording artiste, Alexander Prince stands supreme not only for the excellence of his music but also for the extraordinary number of discs he made. His first recordings were on cylinders but in 1912 he signed up exclusively with Columbia and, from then on, his titles appeared on the flat discs as we know them today.

His renderings of Tannhauser Overture and Poet and Peasant were proof of both his musical abilities and the adaptability of the Concertina.

He said that he was an infant prodigy, since, when he was eight years old he broke his leg, and was forced to stay in bed. His father, who owned a music shop, gave him a Concertina to amuse himself with and two years later we find Alexander Prince performing at the Glasgow Exhibition!!

It was not long before he was heard at the London Pavilion, Crystal Palace and other halls and, in 1904 he set off on a South African tour.

His instruments were 51 and 71 key Duets [Maccann system]. On the latter he was able to obtain some really beautiful organ effects since it had a greater bass range than that usually made.

Proof positive of Prince's musical genius is the fact that he never wrote any of his arrangements down but simply took them straight from an Orchestral score and memorised them.

In later years he was more associated with Nottingham, England rather than Scotland. His brother also played concertina and taught there."

- Wes Williams, International Concertina Association Document Archivist, writing at