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See Arne family

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Jonathan Hall and Magnus Williamson

Banastre [Banaster], Gilbert (d. 1487), composer and poet, is of obscure origins, but was possibly related to (or even the son of) Henry Banaster (d. 1456) of Southwark, a yeoman of Henry VI's household. His mother, Alice, was still alive when he made his will. A birth date not later than ...

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Banks, Iain (1954–2013), author and composer, was born in Dunfermline, Fife, on 16 February 1954, the only surviving child (he had a sister who died at six weeks) of Thomas Menzies (Tom) Banks (1918–2009), an Admiralty officer at the Rosyth naval base, and his wife, ...

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Iain Banks (1954–2013) by Mark Gerson, 1985 © Mark Gerson / Bridgeman Art Library

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Wilson, John Burgess [pseud. Anthony Burgess] (1917–1993), writer and composer, was born on 25 February 1917 at Carisbrook Street, Harpurhey, Manchester, the only son of Joseph Wilson (1883–1938) and his wife, Elisabeth Burgess (d. 1919). Joe Wilson was a bookkeeper who played the piano in picture houses and pubs; his wife was ...

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John Burgess Wilson [Anthony Burgess] (1917–1993) by Denis Waugh, 1980 © Denis Waugh / National Portrait Gallery, London

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See Corri family

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See Corri family

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Sir Noël Peirce Coward (1899–1973) by Dorothy Wilding, 1930 © Tom Hustler / National Portrait Gallery, London

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Coward, Sir Noël Peirce (1899–1973), playwright and composer, was born at Helmsdale, 5 Waldegrave Road, Teddington, Middlesex, on 16 December 1899, the second in the family of three sons (the eldest of whom died at the age of six) of Arthur Sabin Coward (1856–1937)...

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Dale, Joseph (1749/50–1821), music publisher and composer, is of obscure origins, although it is possible given his later interests that he was Scottish. He is first identified as the organist of St Antholin, Budge Row, Watling Street, London, in February 1777, a post he held until only a few months before his death. ...

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Ellis, Vivian John Herman (1903–1996), composer and lyricist, was born on 29 October 1903 at 207 Goldhurst Terrace, Hampstead, London, the only son of Henry Herman Ellis (c.1868–1909), tailor, and his wife, Maud Alexandrina Isaacson (1870–1961). He inherited musical talent from his mother, a violin pupil of ...

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Fethy [Futhie], John (d. 1568x70), musician and Roman Catholic priest, was the author of two notable lyrics (nos. 288 and 309) in the Bannatyne collection (1568)—for no. 309 at least there is evidence that he also composed music—and of words and music for ...

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Flackton, William (bap. 1709, d. 1798), bookseller and musician, was born in Canterbury and baptized on 27 March 1709 in the parish of St Alphege there, the eldest surviving son of John Flackton (bap. 1679) and his wife, Catharine Sharp, who married in 1702. ...

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Foss, Hubert James (1899–1953), music publisher and composer, was born on 2 May 1899 at Woodcroft, Park Hill Road, Croydon, Surrey, the thirteenth and youngest child of Frederick Foss (1850–1908) and his wife, Anne Penny Bartrum (1853–1924). His father, a solicitor, served as a JP and was mayor of ...

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Gay, Noel [real name Reginald Moxon Armitage] (1898–1954), composer and lyricist, was born on 15 July 1898 at Park Terrace, Leeds Road, Outwood, Wakefield, the son of Harry Armitage, a colliery clerk, and his wife, Charlotte Elizabeth Moxon. Musically precocious, he won a scholarship to ...

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Noel Gay (1898–1954) by Howard Coster, 1932 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Gerarde, Derrick (fl. 1550–1590), composer and copyist, was probably of Flemish origin. Although virtually nothing is known of his life, there is strong circumstantial evidence for believing that he spent some time in England. Almost his entire musical output is contained in manuscripts now in the Royal Appendix sequence of the ...

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See Gow, Nathaniel

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Ivor Bertie Gurney (1890–1937) by unknown photographer © reserved; The British Library; photograph National Portrait Gallery, London