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Abel, Karl Friedrich (1723–1787), composer and concert impresario, was born on 22 December 1723 in Cöthen, Saxony, one of six children. His father, Christian Ferdinand Abel (c.1683–1737), served as violinist for Johann Sebastian Bach, under whom Karl Friedrich may have studied at the ...

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Karl Friedrich Abel (1723–1787) by Thomas Gainsborough, exh. RA 1777 The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, CA, USA

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W. B. Squire

revised by Nicholas Salwey

Abell, John (b. 1653, d. in or after 1716), singer and composer, was born in Aberdeenshire and was admitted as a 'gentleman of his majesty's chapel extraordinary' on 1 May 1679, about which time he is listed among the musicians of the king's private music, as singer, lutenist, and violinist. ...

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Abraham, Gerald Ernest Heal (1904–1988), musicologist, was born on 9 March 1904 in Newport, Isle of Wight, the only child of Ernest Abraham, manufacturer, and his wife, Dorothy Mary Heal, a jeweller's daughter. In spite of his strong musical interests, he planned a naval career, attending a naval crammer in ...

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Abrahams, Doris Caroline [pseud. Caryl Brahms] (1901–1982), writer and songwriter, was born at 28 Morland Road, Croydon, Surrey, on 8 December 1901, the only child of Henry Clarence Abrahams, a wholesale jeweller, and his wife, Pearl, one of the twenty-one children of ...

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Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson

Abrams, Harriett (c. 1758–1821), singer and composer, was, according to her niece's husband, Thomas Adolphus Trollope, the daughter of a man who came to England 'in the suite of some Hanoverian minister, in what capacity I never heard' (Trollope, 151). She was described by ...

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See Abrams, Harriett

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Addinsell, Richard Stewart (1904–1977), composer and pianist, was born at 31 Woburn Square, London, on 13 January 1904, the younger of the two sons of William Arthur Addinsell, chartered accountant, and his wife, Annie Beatrice Richards. His adoring mother arranged for him to be educated at home, and this seemingly made him allergic to institutions thereafter. He went to ...

Article

W. B. Squire

revised by David J. Golby

Addison, John (c. 1766–1844), double bass player and composer, was born in London, the son of a village mechanic. As a child he showed considerable musical ability, learning to play a variety of instruments, including the flageolet, flute, bassoon, and violin. He was also self-taught in composition, and his early works include a set of ...

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Adler, Lawrence Cecil [Larry] (1914–2001), harmonica player and composer, was born on 10 February 1914 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, the son of Louis Adler, plumber, and his wife, Sadie Hack. His family were of Russian descent and changed their name from Zelakovitch to ...

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Lawrence Cecil Adler (1914–2001) by Ida Kar, 1950s © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Adson, John (bap. 1587?, d. 1640), musician and composer, may have been the Johannes Adson baptized at Watford, Northamptonshire, on 24 January 1587. Nothing else is known of his origins. By 1604, well before the usual age to finish an apprenticeship (which was about twenty-four), he was employed as a cornetto player at the court of ...

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Aitken, Laurel [real name Oliver Anthony Stephens] (1925–2005), singer, songwriter, and record producer, was born on 22 April 1925, in Jamaica, one of six children of a Jamaican father and a Cuban mother. His early years were spent in Havana, Cuba, but the family moved to ...

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Albani [married name Gye], Dame Emma [née Marie Louise Cécile Emma Lajeunesse] (1847–1930), singer, was born on 1 November 1847 at Chambly, Quebec, Canada, one of three surviving children of Joseph Lajeunesse, organist, and his wife, Mélina Mignault (d. 1856)...

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Dame Emma Albani (1847–1930) by Walery, pubd 1889 © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

E. M. Clerke

revised by John Rosselli

Albertazzi, Emma (c. 1813–1847), singer, the daughter of Francis Howson, a London music teacher, was trained as a pianist and in 1827 articled to Andrea Costa, in whose house she met a fellow pupil, Francesco Albertazzi; they were married in November 1829. She appeared first in concert, then went to ...

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Alcock, John (1715–1806), organist and composer, was born at the family home, Crane Court, St Peter's Hill, London, on 11 April 1715, the third of the eight children of Daniel Alcock (bap. 1686) and his wife, Mary. They lived only a stone's throw from ...

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See Alcock, John

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Aldridge, Amanda Christina Elizabeth [pseud. Montague Ring] (1866–1956), singer and composer, was born on 10 March 1866 at Luranah Villa, Hamlet Road, Penge, Surrey, the second of three daughters and third of four children of Ira Frederick Aldridge (1807?–1867), the distinguished African-American tragedian, and his second wife, Swedish opera singer ...

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Alexander [née Humphreys], Cecil Frances [Fanny] (1818–1895), hymn writer and poet, was born at 25 Eccles Street, Dublin. She was the second daughter of John Humphreys, a second lieutenant in the Royal Marines and later brigade major in the Tyrone yeomanry, and his wife, ...