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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 ...

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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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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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Allan [Allen], James [Jimmy] (1734–1810), Northumbrian piper and rogue, was born at Hepple, Northumberland, probably in March 1734, and baptized at Rothbury, Northumberland, on 21 April 1734, the son of William Allan or Allen, also known as Wull Faa, a noted vermin hunter and performer on the Northumbrian small pipes. ...

Article

R. H. Legge

revised by David J. Golby

Alvars, Elias Parish- (1808–1849), harpist and composer, was born on 28 February 1808 at Teignmouth, where his father was an organist. His earliest teachers on the harp were N. C. Bochsa (from 1820) and subsequently F. J. Dizi and Théodore Labarre in Paris...

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Ambrose, Benjamin Baruch [Bert] (1896–1971), bandleader and violinist, was born in Warsaw, Poland, in the Russian empire, on 11 September 1896, the son of Lewis Ambrose (1869/70–1962), a dealer in rags in the East End of London, and his wife, Becky or Rebecca (1870/71–1945)...

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Amner, John (d. 1641), composer and organist, came from a family which was intimately associated with the music at Ely Cathedral for over half a century. Michael Amner, his uncle, was a lay clerk at the cathedral (1576–88), as was also Ralph Amner...

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Lucy Anderson (1797–1878) by Richard James Lane, pubd 1835 (after Johannes Notz, c. 1833–4) © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

W. B. Squire

revised by Anne Pimlott Baker

Anderson [née Philpot], Lucy (1797–1878), pianist, was born on 12 December 1797 in Bath, the daughter of John Philpot, a music seller. Her father, who intended her to take up the harp, was her first piano teacher, but in spite of her poor eyesight she soon made such progress on the piano that she appeared as a solo player in ...

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Anderson, Thomas James [Tom] (1910–1991), fiddler and collector of traditional music, was born on 29 August 1910 in the isolated district of Eshaness in Shetland, the eldest of six children of James Anderson, fisherman–crofter, and his wife, Harriet Margaret, née Johnson. His grandfather and uncle taught him to play the fiddle when he was eight. He came under the influence of ...

Article

J. C. Bridge

revised by Nilanjana Banerji

Armes, Philip (1836–1908), organist, born at Norwich on 15 August 1836, was the eldest son of Philip Armes, a schoolmaster and bass singer and his wife, Mary. He was a chorister in Norwich Cathedral from 1846 to 1848, then joined the choir of ...

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Armstrong [née Cobbe], Lucie (1851–1907), musician and writer on etiquette, was the daughter of Major Charles Henry Cobbe and granddaughter of General George Cobbe (b. 1782), who was descended on the paternal side from Charles Cobbe (1687–1765), archbishop of Dublin (1742–3). She was the second cousin of ...

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Armstrong, Sir Thomas Henry Wait (1898–1994), organist and college administrator, was born on 15 June 1898 at Peterborough, the only son of Amos Ebenezer Armstrong (1878–1950), an organist and choirmaster, and his wife, Elizabeth Annie West, née Handford (1880–1939), a former headmistress. He had two younger sisters, ...

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Sir Thomas Henry Wait Armstrong (1898–1994) by Walter Bird, 1968 © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

See Arne family

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Thomas Augustine Arne (1710–1778) by William Humphrey, pubd 1778 (after Robert Dunkarton, c. 1770) © Copyright The British Museum

Article

Arne, Thomas Augustine (1710–1778), composer and musical performer, was born in King Street, Covent Garden, London, on 12 March 1710, the son of Thomas Arne (bap. 1682, d. 1736) [see under Arne family], upholsterer and undertaker, and his second wife, Anne, ...