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Bassano, Alvise (d. 1554), musician and instrument maker, was presumably born in Bassano, near Venice, in the late fifteenth century, the second son of Maestro Jeronimo (d. 1539?), known as Piva (‘bagpipe’). By 1515 he was playing in Venice, and he served in ...

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See Bassano, Alvise

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Carmichael, Mary Grant (1850/51–1935), pianist and composer, was born in Birkenhead, Cheshire, the daughter of John Carmichael of Corosal. Her youngest brother, Montague (1857–1936), entered the diplomatic service and was the author of a number of belletristic books on Italy. Mary was educated in ...

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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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Dering, Richard (c. 1580–1630), organist and composer, was the illegitimate son of Henry Dering of Liss, Hampshire, and, according to one source, of Lady Elizabeth Grey, sister of Henry Grey, earl of Kent (1547–1614) (BL, Add. MS 5534). He was educated at ...

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Downes, Ralph William (1904–1993), organist, was born on 16 August 1904 at 61 Arthur Street, Derby, the only child of James William Downes (1873–1954) and his wife, Constance Edith, née Platt (1876–1922). He was educated at Derby municipal secondary school, which he left at 'exactly 16' (...

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Charles Kent

revised by Anne Pimlott Baker

Field, Henry Ibbot (1797–1848), pianist, was born in Bath on 6 December 1797, the eldest in the family of seven children of Thomas Field (d. 1831), organist at Bath Abbey, and his wife, Mary Harvey (d. 1815). He was educated at ...

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Matthew Locke (c. 1622–1677) by unknown artist Faculty of Music, University of Oxford

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Locke, Matthew (c. 1622–1677), organist and composer, is presumed to have been born in Devon, though attempts to link him with a Locke family resident in Exeter at the time have proved inconclusive. His date of birth is inferred from the inscription 'aetat 40 anno domini 1662' on a portrait given to the ...

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L. M. Middleton

revised by Fiona M. Palmer

Paxton, Stephen (bap. 1734, d. 1787), musician and composer, was baptized on 27 December 1734 at St Oswald's, Durham, the son of Robert Paxton. He gained his early musical training as a cathedral chorister until his voice broke. He spent the greater part of his life in ...

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L. M. Middleton

revised by David S. Knight

Phillips, Arthur (1605–1695), organist and composer, was a younger son of William Phillips of Winchester. He matriculated at New College, Oxford, on 15 November 1622. He was appointed organist of Bristol Cathedral in 1638 and Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1639, and graduated BMus in 1640. From 1639, following in the footsteps of his predecessor at ...

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Wesley, Samuel (1766–1837), composer and organist, was born on 24 February 1766 at Charles Street, Bristol, the youngest of the three children to survive infancy of the Methodist hymn writer Charles Wesley (1707–1788) and his wife, Sarah, née Gwynne (1726–1822). He was the grandson of ...

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Samuel Wesley (1766–1837) by John Jackson, c. 1815–20 © National Portrait Gallery, London