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Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson

Barbier, Jane (fl. 1711–1740), singer, was said by John Hawkins to be 'a native of England' (Hawkins, 5.156). A contralto, she made her first stage appearance with the opera company at the Queen's Theatre in the Italian pasticcio Almahide in November 1711, singing a role previously taken by the castrato ...

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George Biddlecombe

Braham, John (1777?–1856), singer, was probably born on 20 March 1777 in London. The year of his birth has often been given as 1774, but two accounts published during his lifetime—in The Harmonicon (10, 1832, 1), and in the Illustrated London News...

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John Braham (1777?–1856) by unknown artist, c. 1834 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Campion, Mary Anne (c. 1687–1706), singer and dancer, was born of lowly parents, her father having possibly been a servant of William Cavendish, first duke of Devonshire. She displayed a precocious talent on the stage; aged eleven, she was a member of Christopher Rich's...

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Damascene, Alexander (d. 1719), singer and composer, was born in France. He was a protestant, and presumably it was for this reason that he went to England, where he obtained letters of denization on 22 July 1682. On 22 July 1680 he married ...

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Davies, Rowland (1740–1797), composer and Roman Catholic priest, was born on 9 May 1740 in London, son of Rowland Davies and his wife, Jane Nicholas. He was a pupil of George Frideric Handel, and is said to have played the organ at the coronation of ...

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Delius, Frederick Theodor Albert (1862–1934), composer, was born on 29 January 1862 at Claremont, Horton Lane, Bradford, Yorkshire, the grandson of Ernst Friedrich Delius (1790–1831) and the fourth of the fourteen children of Julius Delius (1822–1901) and his wife, Elise Pauline Krönig (1838–1929)...

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Frederick Theodor Albert Delius (1862–1934) by Ernest Procter, 1929 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Elderton, William (d. in or before 1592), ballad writer, is of unknown origins. Although he and his ballads were well known in Elizabethan England—Elderton's name appears in the records of the privy council, as well as in the writings of numerous contemporary poets and dramatists—very little is known of his life, save for the fact that, as ...

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Fields, Dame Gracie [real name Grace Stansfield] (1898–1979), music-hall entertainer and film actress, was born at 9 Molesworth Street, Rochdale, Lancashire, on 9 January 1898, the eldest of the four children (three daughters and one son) of Fred Stansfield (1874–1956), engineer, and his wife, ...

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Fraser, Simon (1773–1852), editor of traditional music and composer, was born at Ardachie, near Fort Augustus, Inverness-shire. His father, Captain John Fraser, son of Angus Fraser of Errogie, served with the 78th (Highland) regiment (the Black Watch) and 'scaled the heights of Abram...

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William Herschel (1738–1822) by Lemuel Francis Abbott, 1785 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Herschel, William (1738–1822), musician and astronomer, was born at Hanover on 15 November 1738, and baptized Friedrich Wilhelm. He was the fourth of the ten children (and the third of six to survive infancy) of Isaac Herschel (1707–1767), a former gardener who was then an oboist in the ...

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Horn, Charles Frederick (1762–1830), musician, was born on 24 February 1762 in Nordhausen, Germany, the third of four children of ‘John’ (presumably Johann) Wolfgang Horn (b. 1737, d. before 1793) and his wife, Sophia Dorothea, née Shenaman (1735–1798). His father intended him to become a surveyor and destroyed his clavichord so that he would concentrate upon that career, but was unable to stop him from studying music with the ...

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Nicholas Lanier (bap. 1588, d. 1666) by Sir Anthony Van Dyck, 1628? Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

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Lanier, Nicholas (bap. 1588, d. 1666), musician and art dealer, was baptized on 10 September 1588 in the church of Holy Trinity Minories, London. His father, John Lanier (d. 1616), was a sackbut player in the royal court band or musick, and his mother, ...

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Lupo, Thomas (bap. 1571?, d. 1627/8?), violinist and composer, son of Joseph Lupo (d. 1616), violinist, and his wife, Laura Bassano (d. in or before 1596), was probably the 'Thomas s[on] [of] Basanew' baptized at St Olave, Hart Street, London...

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See Lupo, Thomas

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McLennan, George Stewart (1883–1929), player and composer of highland bagpipe music, was born on 9 February 1883 at 105 St Leonard Street, Edinburgh, the eighth child in the family of seven sons and two daughters of John McLennan, superintendent of police and editor of bagpipe music (1843–1923), and his first wife, ...

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(Jacob Ludwig) Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809–1847) by Eduard Magnus © National Portrait Gallery, London