Irish Levenstons

The Jews of Ireland: From Earliest Times to Year 1910
by L. Hyman
Shannon: Irish University Press, 1972
Page 145

Group shot of Irish Levenstons.


Solomon Alexander Levenston (1830-87) was a native of Glasgow who moved to Dublin from Edinburgh in 1859, residing at 42 Kildare Street, where his wife dealt in second-hand clothes. He gave private tuition in physiology and other medical subjects and afterwards ran a dispensary in High Street, with the repute of holding a patent for the cure of venereal diseases. A brother of his, Samuel (182I-1914), practised as a physician in Glasgow; another brother taught the violin to 'Stanelli' (Stanley Cowan), a youthful prodigy, and grandson of Marinus de Groot, of Dublin. Solomon, in 1855, married Kate Lipman, of London, said to have been of the family of Sir Joseph Lyons (1848-1917), a founder of the great catering firm.

Musical talent was ingrained in the Levenstons. Solomon's eldest son, Philip Michael (I856-I913), led the orchestra at the old Theatre Royal of Dublin at the age of twelve. In 1873, he won a scholarship for violin at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, and eventually became Professor of Music there. For many years he led the vice-regal orchestra and the Dublin Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as conducting the orchestra at the old Queen's Theatre in Brunswick, now Pearse Street. He provided bands for military and hunt balls, the Irish nobility patronised his classes, and he taught at several convents. One pupil was his own kinsman, Henry Franklin (1876-1948). Henry's father, H. Frankel, a Polish Jew, came to Dublin in 1877 and worked as a tailor. In 1898, Henry settled in Sligo, and in the following year married the daughter of a local banker. He was famed throughout Ireland as a violin teacher, and both his sons are outstanding musicians. In 1942, he asked the trustees of the Ballybough cemetery to allow him to be buried by the side of his sister, Minna (I859-77), but permission was not granted.


Philip Michael (1856-1913) and Esther Levenston with children
Kate b.1882, Elizabeth (Bessie) b. 1884,
Lilly b. 1886, Florence Miriam b. 1888. One of these daughter gave old family photos to Gerald Levenston.
Philip Michael led the vice-regal orchestra and the Dublin Philharmonic Orchestra.

Philip Michael Levenston was a devotee of Irish music and wrote many musical and dramatic scores for local groups; he taught violin, without fee, to boys in the Marlborough Street training college, and for a short time conducted a choir at the Adelaide Road synagogue. Two Levenston brothers, Joseph and Samuel, were hardly less active in the musical world. When he was only 14, Joseph (1857-1927) played the 'cello before Queen Victoria; as a man, he taught music in Dublin and played in the orchestras of local, and also of London, theatres. He was the first President of the Montefiore Musical and Dramatic Club, founded by the young Jews of Dublin in 1889. Samuel (1876-1945?) was a violinist in the orchestras of the Queen's and the Gaiety. Members of the family ran a dancing academy at 35 Frederick Street, to which Bloom, in the episode of the Lestrygonians in Ulysses, thinks the blind stripling, who doubtlessly tunes pianos, is making his way: 'There he goes into Frederick street. Perhaps to Levenston's dancing academy piano'.

The Dublin Philharmonic Orchestra today.


Levenstons Migrate to the Internet

The Levenston and Stibbe Families (5000 names)

Some Irish Levenstons

Scottish Levenstons

Susan Nathan's Family

A Century in Western Canada

Mike's Martial Arts - 8th Degree Black Belt - San Sho Do

Michael Levenston, Theatre Manager, 1855-1904

Gerald Levenston, born 1914, Toronto, Canada

Search Our Site[new]

pointer Return to Contents' Page pointer

updated September 16, 2013

Published by City Farmer
Canada's Office of Urban Agriculture