Alfred Charles Hobday

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Alfred Charles Hobday (19 April 1870 in Faversham – 23 February 1942 in Tankerton) was an English viola player who made his career in England. He was the elder brother of the double-bass player Claude Hobday.[1]

Hobday studied at the Royal College of Music in London with Henry Holmes. He played in several leading string quartet musical ensembles, notably at St James's Hall, with Joseph Joachim, Lady Hallé, Ries and the cellist Alfredo Piatti. He also gave many viola recitals with his wife, the pianist Ethel Sharpe, later known as Ethel Hobday.

Hobday was solo viola at the Royal Covent Garden Opera from 1900 to 1914. He was also the leading viola of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, of the Goossens Orchestra, of the London Symphony Orchestra from its inception in 1904, and of the orchestras of the chief festivals.

Hobday premiered several works including Frank Bridge's Phantasy for Piano Quartet, Vaughan Williams' Four Hymns for Tenor, and String Orchestra and Vaughan Williams's Quintet in C Minor for Pianoforte, Violin, Viola, Violoncello, and Double Bass. The English composer Ernest Walker also composed works specifically for Hobday.


  1. ^ "Mr. Claude Hobday", The Times, 17 March 1954, p. 10