2014 New Gallery!
WORLD TRIBUTE TO TIANIC’S 8 HEROIC MUSICIANS
Their Lives, Loves and Legacy – An Epic Ballad of the Sea
Playing for Life
The Georges Alexandre Krins Story
Geoges Alexandre Krins was born in Paris on March 18, 1889. His father, Auguste, was part Russian, part Belgian. His mother Louise, was French. He had two sisters and a brother. In 1895 the family moved to the town of Spa in Belgium where his parents opened a haberdashery/drapery store. .
From childhood, music made Krin’s world go round. He developed an early love for the violin, but even though Spa was a very musical city with a number of fine orchestras, there were no music schools there.
At 13 he enrolled at the Conservatoire Royal de Musique in Belgium’s cultural city of Liege. Soon, he was recognized as a brilliant student, winning prestigious prizes and awards in musical theory and violin.
After six years, Krins left the Conservatoire and returned to Spa where he joined La Grande Symphonie for two seasons. In 1910 he was engaged as first violin at the Trianon Lyrique in Paris, a theatre specializing in comic opera. Next on his play list was the Ritz Hotel in London where he entertained in the elegant Palm Court. Here he caught the eyes and ears of Black Brothers talent agents who signed him on for Titanic’s maiden cruise.
Once onboard Titanic, Krins and French cellist Bricoux were teamed to created a ‘Continental’ musical feel to the elegant A La Carte restaurant and the Café Parisian. They were joined by English born, Theodore Brailey on the piano. Every night this young trio would play from a selection of 350 tunes listed in the White Star Line’s songbook. Each of the pieces had to be learned and remembered as a number because White Star did not allow the use of sheet music. Their remarkable talent and quiet sophistication proved to be an instant hit with the discerning First Class passengers who frequented the two exclusive dining rooms.
On the night of the sinking, the last tune most survivors recalled hearing did not have an assigned number in the White Star Line songbook. It must have come from the heart of the doomed musicians who drew nearer to God as the ocean closed about them.
When you enter Titanic Branson’s new Musician’s Gallery you can almost hear the haunting strains of Nearer My God To Thee that the little band was playing – until it was drowned out over Titanic’s troubled waters.