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Sir Malcolm Henry Arnold (1921–2006) by Erich Auerbach, 1961 Getty Images

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Arnold, Sir Malcolm Henry (1921–2006), trumpeter and composer, was born at Fairview, Cliftonville, Northampton, on 21 October 1921, the fourth son and fifth and youngest child of William Arnold, shoe manufacturer, and his wife, Annie, née Hawes. Coincidentally, two other well-known British composers of the twentieth century, ...

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Bowen, Edwin Yorke [York] (1884–1961), pianist and composer, was born on 22 February 1884 in Crouch Hill, London, the youngest of the three sons of Edward Bowen (d. 1911), founder of the whisky distillers Bowen and McKechnie, and his wife, Ellen Mary (1854–1906)...

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Bowman [née Bradford], Laura (1881–1957), musical entertainer, was born in Quincy, Illinois, USA, on 3 October 1881, the daughter of Charles Bradford (c.1850–c.1915), bartender, and his wife, Lois Adelaide, née Yeates (c.1850–1912). After being taken by her aunt for an education in ...

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Clark, Thomas (bap. 1775, d. 1859), composer, was baptized on 5 February 1775 at St Peter's, Canterbury, the son of William Clark (b. 1745/6?) and his wife, Mary Quested (1738?–1794). They lived at 35 St Georges Street, Canterbury, where William, a cordwainer, made and sold boots. ...

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Cumming, Barbara Theresa [name in religion Hildelith Cumming] (1909–1991), nun, printer, and musician, was born on 15 December 1909 at 61 Thurleigh Road, Battersea, the third daughter of Frederick Mann Cumming (1869–1931), a civil engineer's assistant, and his wife, Emma Georgiana Love (1868–1935)...

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Evans, Sir Geraint Llewellyn (1922–1992), singer, was born on 16 February 1922 at 55 William Street, Cilfynydd, Glamorgan, the only son of William John Evans (1899–1978), miner, and his wife, Charlotte May, née Thomas (1901–1923). His mother died in childbirth when her son was seventeen months old, and the daughter she then bore did not long survive her. His father thereupon returned to live with his own parents, and ...

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Sir Geraint Llewellyn Evans (1922–1992) by Arnold Newman, 1978 Arnold Newman / Getty Images; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Griffiths [née Thomas], Ann (bap. 1776, d. 1805), hymn writer in Welsh, born at a farmhouse called Dolwar-fach in the parish of Llanfihangel-yng-Ngwynfa, Montgomeryshire, the fourth of the five children of John Evan Thomas (1736–1804), a tenant farmer, and his wife, Jane, ...

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Hartley, Wallace Henry (1878–1912), musician and bandleader on the RMS Titanic, was born on 2 June 1878 at 136 Greenfield Hill, Colne, Lancashire, the second of the six children (four surviving) of Albion Hartley (1850–1934), mill manager, and his wife, Elizabeth, née Foulds (1851–1927)...

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Wallace Henry Hartley (1878–1912) by unknown photographer, 1912 [the band of RMS Titanic: John Frederick Preston Clarke, Percy Cornelius Taylor; Georges Alexandre Krins, Wallace Hartley, William Theodore Ronald Brailey; Jock Hume, John Wesley Woodward] © Illustrated London News Ltd / Mary Evans

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Jones, John [known as John Jones Tal-y-sarn] (1796–1857), Calvinistic Methodist minister and hymn writer, was born at Tan-y-castell, Dolwyddelan, Caernarvonshire, on 1 March 1796, the son of John and Elinor Jones. His father died when John was twelve years of age, and the direction of the family farm fell upon him, but he afterwards worked as a labourer and as a quarryman at ...

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John Frederick Lampe (1702/33–1751) by James Macardell (after S. Andrea) © Copyright The British Museum

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Lampe, John Frederick (1702/3–1751), composer and bassoonist, of unknown parentage, was said to be a native of Saxony (Burney, Hist. mus., 2.1001), and, according to his tombstone epitaph, was born in late 1702 or early 1703. Lampe's treatise A Plain and Compendious Method of Teaching Thorough Bass...

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Leach, James (bap. 1761, d. 1798), composer, was stated to have been born at Wardle, near Rochdale, in 1762. Circumstantial evidence, however, suggests that he was probably the son of James Leach and Betty Clegg of Townhead, Rochdale, and that he was baptized there on 25 December 1761. He was a handloom weaver like his father, and studied music in his spare time before teaching and directing choirs professionally. Earlier biographers, beginning with ...

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Lewis, Richard [real name Thomas Thomas] (1914–1990), singer, was born on 10 May 1914 at 69 Baden Street, Ardwick, Manchester, only son and the younger of the two children of Thomas Thomas (d. 1949) and his wife, Mary Hannah, née Lewis (...

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Loudin, Frederick J. (1836–1904), choirmaster, was born in Portage county, Ohio, in 1836, the son of a farmer. His colour severely restricted his opportunities although Ohio was not a slave state. His father had contributed funds to a nearby college, but Loudin was refused a place because of his colour. Educated in ...

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Marged ferch Ifan (bap. 1696, d. 1793), harpist and wrestler, was probably born in Beddgelert, Caernarvonshire, and baptized in the parish church on 10 May 1696, one of at least eleven children born to Ifan Powell and his wife, Elizabeth Hughes. She became known far beyond ...

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Mather, Joseph (1737–1804), file cutter and songwriter, was born either at Chelmorton, Derbyshire, or in Cack Alley, Sheffield. Nothing is known of his parentage or early life but after serving an eight-year apprenticeship (1751–9) Mather became a journeyman file cutter (otherwise known as file hewer) in the ...

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Olivers, Thomas (bap. 1725, d. 1799), Methodist preacher and hymn writer, was the son of Thomas Olivers (d. 1729) and his wife, Penelope (d. 1730). The parish register of Tregynon, Montgomeryshire, shows that he was baptized on 8 September 1725. After his father and his mother died, he was entrusted to the care of a great-uncle, who, however, did not long survive ...