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Aston, Hugh (d. 1558), composer and choirmaster, is of obscure origins. He became one of the foremost church musicians of his generation, the peer of John Taverner, and yet biographers have sometimes confused him with namesakes. He is not Hugh Aston, canon of ...

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Atkins, Sir Ivor Algernon (1869–1953), organist and choirmaster, was born on 29 November 1869 at Llandaff, near Cardiff, the sixth child and third son of Frederick Pyke Atkins (1830–1897), organist of St John's parish church in Cardiff, and his wife, Harriet Maria, née...

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Cooke, Henry (d. 1672), singer, composer, and choirmaster, was 'bred up' in the Chapel Royal according to Anthony Wood, but Joseph Bridge's suggestion that his father was John Cooke of the chapel, formerly a vicar-choral at Lichfield, is speculative. Cooke joined the royalist army in the civil wars; it is uncertain whether he was the ...

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Corrigan, Kathleen [name in religion Felicitas Corrigan] (1908–2003), nun, writer, and church musician, was born on 6 March 1908 at 16 Gurnall Street, Everton, Liverpool, the second of eight surviving children of Joseph Corrigan, a 'private coachman' or taxi driver of Irish extraction, and his wife, ...

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F. H. Shera

revised by James J. Nott

Coward, Sir Henry (1849–1944), chorus master, was born at Liverpool on 26 November 1849, the only son of Henry Coward, a Sheffield-born cutler who became an innkeeper and black-face minstrel, and his wife, Harriet Carr, who was also a singer. A hard youth as a cutler's apprentice in ...

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Davies, Daniel [Dan] (1859–1930), choral conductor, was born at 39 Berry Square, Dowlais, Glamorgan, on 27 May 1859, the son of David Davies and his wife, Elizabeth. His parents had migrated from rural Carmarthenshire in 1850. His father, a butcher, was formerly employed as a coalminer by the local iron company, ...

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Davy [Davys], Richard (d. 1521?), church musician, is of unknown origins, but rose to be one of the leading composers of his generation. All that is certain about his career is that he was instructor of the choristers at Magdalen College, Oxford, from Michaelmas 1490 until Christmas 1491; he could have held the post as early as Michaelmas 1488 and as late as Christmas 1493. It is probable, however, that he stayed no longer than the many other instructors employed by the college during the 1480s and 1490s; the position was poorly paid, and its occupants tended to move to more lucrative employment. A ...

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Evans, Henry [Harry] (1873–1914), musician, was born in Russell Street, Dowlais, an industrial township adjoining Merthyr Tudful, Glamorgan, on 1 May 1873, the fifth of ten children born to John Evans (Eos Myrddin; 1841–1905), iron rollerman, and his wife, Sarah, née Powell, dressmaker. Baptized ...

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L. M. Middleton

revised by Nilanjana Banerji

Fawcett, John (1789–1867), composer and choirmaster, was born in the village of Wennington in Lancashire on 8 December 1789. He followed his father's trade of shoemaking until 1825, but also pursued a keen interest in music. He was self-taught, and began his studies by copying out, and even writing from memory, the scores and parts of the hymn tunes practised in the village choir. At the age of twelve he joined a singing class and learned the ...

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Fayrfax [Fairfax], Robert (1464–1521), composer and church musician, was born on 23 April 1464 at Deeping Gate, Northamptonshire, the sixth of at least twelve children of William Fayrfax (d. 1498) and his second wife, Anne, daughter of Robert Tanfeld. The Fayrfaxes were typical minor gentry of the period, intermarrying with other armigerous families and creating ties of respect and obligation with their neighbours. The list of godparents and sponsors chosen by ...