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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. ...

Article

Arditi, Luigi (1822–1903), conductor and composer, was born on 16 July 1822 in Crescentino, Piedmont, the son of Maurizio Arditi and his wife, Caterina Colombo. He studied the violin with Carossini and Capitani in his home town, with Caldera in Turin, and with ...

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

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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, ...

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Johann Christian Bach (1735–1782) by Thomas Gainsborough, 1776 [replica] © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bach, Johann Christian (1735–1782), composer, was born on 5 September 1735 in Leipzig, Saxony, the sixth and youngest son and the eleventh of the thirteen children of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750), composer, and his second wife, Anna Magdalena (1701–1760), daughter of Johann Caspar Wilcke...

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Michael William Balfe (1808–1870) by Herbert Watkins, late 1850s © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Balfe, Michael William (1808–1870), composer, the third child of William Balfe and his wife, Kate, née Ryan, was born at 10 Pitt Street, Dublin, on 15 May 1808. The family moved to Wexford when he was two years old. Balfe received his first musical instruction from his father, a competent violinist and dancing-master, and continued to study violin with ...

Article

Barnett, John Francis (1837–1916), composer and pianist, born in London on 16 October 1837, was the son of a singing teacher, Joseph Alfred Barnett (the younger brother of the composer John Barnett), and his wife, née Hudson. He showed an early talent for music and began to study the piano at the age of six. In 1848 he commenced piano lessons with ...

Article

Barrett, Thomas Augustine [pseuds. Leslie Stuart, Lester Thomas] (1863–1928), composer, was born on 15 March 1863 in Southport, Lancashire, the younger son of Thomas Barrett, cabinet-maker (b. c.1830), and his wife, Mary Ann Burke, née Lester (b. c...

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Sir Lennox Randal Francis Berkeley (1903–1989) by Nicolo Vogel © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Berkeley, Sir Lennox Randal Francis (1903–1989), composer, was born on 12 May 1903 at Melford Cottage, Boars Hill, near Oxford, the younger child and only son of Captain Hastings George FitzHardinge Berkeley RN (1855–1934) (the eldest son of George Lennox Rawdon Berkeley, seventh earl of Berkeley...

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(Louis) Hector Berlioz (1803–1869) by Pierre Petit, 1863 Getty Images

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Berlioz, (Louis) Hector (1803–1869), composer and conductor, was born on 11 December 1803 in La Côte St André, in the département of Isère, France, the first of four children of Dr Louis-Joseph Berlioz and his wife, Marie-Antoinette-Joséphine, commonly known as Joséphine, the daughter of ...

Article

Bliss, Sir Arthur Edward Drummond (1891–1975), composer, was born on 2 August 1891 at Hawthornden, Queen's Ride, Barnes Common, Barnes, Surrey, the eldest of three sons of Francis Edward Bliss (d. 1930), an American businessman from Massachusetts, and his second wife, Agnes Kennard Davis (1858–1895)...

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Sir Arthur Edward Drummond Bliss (1891–1975) by Mark Gertler, 1932 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bononcini, Giovanni (1670–1747), composer, was born on 8 July (18 July NS) 1670 at Modena, the fifth of the eight children of Giovanni Maria Bononcini (bap. 1642, d. 1678), composer and chapel master at the cathedral, and his first wife, Anna Maria Prezii (1641/2–1677)...

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John Bull (1559x6363–1628) by unknown artist, 1589 Faculty of Music, University of Oxford; photograph © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bull, John (1559x63–1628), composer, was born either in 1562 or 1563 (according to a 1589 portrait) or, less plausibly, in 1559 or 1560 (according to his marriage licence of December 1607), probably in Hereford or the surrounding area but possibly in Radnorshire; nothing is known of his parents. On 31 August 1573 he was admitted as a choirboy of ...