Neruda, Wilma Maria Francisa



Violinist; daughter of Josef Neruda, the organist, and member of the distinguished Neruda family; born at Brunn in 1839. She very early began to play the violin, and was a pupil of her father and then of Jansa. At the age of seven years she appeared in public in Vienna with her sister Amalie, a pianist, and three years later played at the Princess Theatre and at a Philharmonic concert in London. After several year's travel she played at the Pasdeloup concerts in Paris, and during that year, 1864, she was married to Ludwig Normann, a Swedish musician. In 1869 she was made a professor of the violin at the Royal Music Academy of Stockholm. She again went to London, and for many years played every winter and spring season at the Popular, Philharmonic and Manchester concerts and at Halle's recitals. After the death of Ludwig Normann she married Sir Charles Halle in 1888; with him made a grand tour of Australia, and was associated with him on the concert stage until his death in 1895. Her many admirers, among them the then Prince of Wales, now King of England, King of Sweden, King of Denmark, eminent musicians and statesmen, presented her a testimonial, the title deeds of a palazzo at Asolo, near Venice. Queen Alexandria has conferred on her the title of Violinist to the Queen. Since 1898 she has resided in Berlin, but has made many tours through Europe, annual appearances in London, and in 1899 toured America. Lady Halle is equally great as a soloist or quartet player, and has always  been greeted with the greatest enthusiasm wherever she has appeared. By some critics she has been considered the equal of Joachim.