Levey, Richard Michael


His real name was O'Shaughnessy. Born in Dublin. He entered the Theatre Royal Orchestra in 1826, where he became leader in 1834. His Annals of the Theatre Royal gives sketches of the leading performances there between the years 1827 and 1847. The Royal burned in 1880, but previous to this time Levey had composed fifty overtures and arranged the music for forty-four pantomimes. He was one of the founders, in 1850, of the Royal Irish Academy of Music. The others were John Stanford, Joseph Robinson, and Sir Francis Brady, K. C. From 1852 to 1855 he was leader of the Dublin Quartet Concert Society, and in 1859 he established the Classical Quartet Union, which he led until 1862. Six years later he was one of the promoters of the Monthly Popular concerts, the quartet being led by Joachim. Two pupils of whom he was very proud were Sir Robert Stewart and Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, and the former, in 1878, conducted a new comic opera, The Rose and the Ring, for Levey's benefit. Among Levey's published compositions are two volumes of old Irish airs.