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Lawrence Cecil Adler (1914–2001) by Ida Kar, 1950s © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Adler, Lawrence Cecil [Larry] (1914–2001), harmonica player and composer, was born on 10 February 1914 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, the son of Louis Adler, plumber, and his wife, Sadie Hack. His family were of Russian descent and changed their name from Zelakovitch to ...

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Adson, John (bap. 1587?, d. 1640), musician and composer, may have been the Johannes Adson baptized at Watford, Northamptonshire, on 24 January 1587. Nothing else is known of his origins. By 1604, well before the usual age to finish an apprenticeship (which was about twenty-four), he was employed as a cornetto player at the court of ...

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Bergmann, Walter Georg (1902–1988), composer and musician, was born on 24 September 1902 in the Lindenallee, Altona, Hamburg, Germany, the youngest of the three sons of Oskar Gustav Adolph Bergmann (1859–1936), a building engineer who worked for the German railways, and his first wife, ...

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Finch, Edward (bap. 1663, d. 1738), Church of England clergyman and musician, was baptized on 20 April 1663 at St Mary Abbots, Kensington, the fifth surviving son among the fourteen children of Heneage Finch, first earl of Nottingham (1621–1682), lord chancellor, and his wife, ...

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Johann Christian Fischer (1733–1800) by Thomas Gainsborough, exh. RA 1780 The Royal Collection © 2004 HM Queen Elizabeth II

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Fischer, Johann Christian (1733–1800), oboist and composer, was born in Freiburg im Breisgau. Little is known of his early life, but Burney reports that he was 'brought up at one of the common reading schools … where all the children learn music, with reading and writing...

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Galliard, John Ernest [formerly Johann Ernst Galliard] (c. 1666/1687–1747), composer and musical performer, was probably born in Celle, Germany, probably about 1666 (according to Highfill, Burnim & Langhans, BDA), but possibly about 1687 (Hawkins), the son of Jean Galliard...

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William Gregory (d. 1663) by unknown artist Faculty of Music, University of Oxford

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Gregory, William (d. 1663), flautist, was appointed as flautist at the English court by warrant of 20 February 1626, following the death of James Harden; he was paid from Christmas 1625. Gregory served in the wind group until it was disbanded in 1642. He is named among members of the ...

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(Arthurlin) Joseph Harriott (1928–1973) by Val Wilmer, 1960 photograph © Val Wilmer

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Harriott, (Arthurlin) Joseph [Joe] (1928–1973), saxophonist, composer, and bandleader, was born on 15 July 1928 in Linstead, St Catherine, Jamaica, the first son and the eldest of the three children of Raphael Garfield Harriott, a professional gambler, and Muriel Scarlet or Scarlett (...

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Jenkins, Edmund Thornton (1894–1926), composer and jazz musician, was born on 9 April 1894 in Charleston, South Carolina, USA, one of eight sons and three daughters of Daniel Joseph Jenkins (1862–1937), Baptist minister, and his wife, Lena, née James (1865–1912). His father's efforts for his fellow African-Americans placed the family in a musical environment, for practical tuition at the ...

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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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MacKay, Iain Dall (1656?–1754), piper, composer, and bard, was born at Meikle Talladale, Loch Maree, in the parish of Gairloch, Wester Ross, the only child of Ruairidh MacKay (c.1590–1689), piper to MacKenzie of Gairloch. The name of his mother is unknown; she is said to have been a daughter of the ...

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MacKenzie, John Bàn (c. 1797–1864), piper and composer, was born at Achilty, near Strathpeffer, Ross-shire. One of a family of at least three sons and one daughter, he was probably the eldest son of William MacKenzie, farmer, and his wife, Mary MacKay. The births of the children were not registered. ...

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MacLellan, John Archibald (1921–1991), piper and composer, was born on 9 July 1921 in Dunfermline, Fife, the eldest of the three sons of William MacLellan (1894–1985), estate gardener, and his wife, Christina MacDonald (1887–1967). Both parents were of west highland origin, and of the Roman Catholic faith. This led them to seek work in ...

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Paisible, James [Jacques] (c. 1656–1721), composer and recorder player, was born in France, probably in or near Paris. He was related to Guillaume Paisible (c.1659–1728), a page in the chambre du roy at Louis XIV's court, and probably to Louis Paisible...

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Simon Isidore Phillips (1907–1973) by Count Zichy for Baron Studios, 1955 © National Portrait Gallery, London