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Simon Towneley and Derek McCulloch

(b Gainsborough, Jan 16, 1740; d Rycote, Sept 26, 1799). English music patron, composer, and political writer. He was educated at Westminster and Oxford (MA 1761) and spent several years in Europe. In Geneva (1765) he met Grétry, who wrote a flute concerto for him based on the improvisations he had played to Grétry to demonstrate his prowess. He spent time in Geneva with the exiled politician John Wilkes and met Voltaire in nearby Ferney. From the mid 1770s he was much involved in the musical and political life of Britain. He was brought into close contact with J.C. Bach and C.F. Abel through his brother-in-law Giovanni Gallini, who was concerned in the organization of the Bach-Abel subscription concerts, which the Earl is said to have subsidized. At his request, Abel composed ...

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Jack Sage

(b Toledo, Nov 23, 1221; d Seville, April 4, 1284). Spanish monarch, patron, poet and composer. The son of Ferdinand the Saint, he became King of Castile and León in 1252. ‘El Sabio’ may be taken as both ‘the Wise’ and ‘the Learned’, for Alfonso’s works show his conviction that learning begets wisdom. He was a remarkable patron of the arts, sciences and culture; he recognized the importance of Spain’s Islamic as well as its Roman and Visigothic heritage, and his court became celebrated as a meeting-place for Christian, Islamic and Jewish scholars and artists. He has long stood accused of sacrificing his family relations and political stability to impractical schemes for liberal reform but, though out of favour with those close to him in his latter years, he fostered notable social, educational and judiciary reforms, encouraged the use of the vernacular in learning and art, and made Spain respected in Europe. In ...

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(b Berlin, Nov 9, 1723; d Berlin, March 30, 1787). German patron, amateur musician and composer. The youngest sister of Frederick the Great, she seems to have sought and received his advice on musical matters. A music exercise book, dated 1735, which she shared with her sister Luise Ulrike, indicates an early commitment to musical studies, but it is not certain precisely when Amalia’s formal musical training began. By ...

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Roger J.V. Cotte

(b Fockenhof, Kurland, Feb 14, 1722; d Paris, March 24, 1791). French dilettante, amateur violinist and composer, patron of the arts and instrument collector. A magnificent and very wealthy nobleman, he both amused and astounded his contemporaries. M. Audinot in his comic opera ...

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Adrienne Fried Block

(b Lewiston, IL, May 26, 1886; d San Diego, Aug 28, 1975). American composer, teacher and patron. She studied with Rudolf Ganz and Felix Borowski at the Chicago Musical College (BM 1906) and with Heniot Levy and Adolf Weidig at the American Conservatory, Chicago; she also studied composition in Chicago with Wilhelm Middleschulte and in Berlin with Hugo Kaun (...

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Linda Troost

(b Fonthill, Sept 29, 1760; d Bath, May 2, 1844). English writer, patron and amateur composer. He is chiefly remembered as author of the oriental tale Vathek (1786). Although he was an accomplished performer on the harpsichord and pianoforte, it is unlikely that, as he later claimed, Beckford studied with Mozart when both were children. Beckford met Pacchierotti in Italy in ...

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Ann Willison Lemke

(b Frankfurt, April 4, 1785; d Berlin, Jan 20, 1859). German writer, editor, publisher, composer, singer, visual artist and patron of young artists. Although known today primarily for her writing and her illustrious associates, Bettine was also a talented musician. She composed songs in a simple folk style, choosing texts by poets she knew and loved, including Goethe, Achim von Armin, and her brother, ...

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Nicholas Temperley

(b London, Feb 3, 1784; d Wansford, Northants., Oct 16, 1859). English amateur musician. He was the eldest son of the 10th Earl of Westmorland, a Tory politician, and was educated at Harrow and at Trinity College, Cambridge (MA 1808), where he studied music under Charles Hague. His career was political, military and diplomatic. He was MP for Lyme Regis (...

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(bap. Handsworth, Yorks., Dec 16, 1593; d Welbeck Abbey, Notts., Dec 25, 1676). English poet, playwright and music patron. Christopher Simpson recognized his knowledge of and skill in the science of music and praised him for ‘cherishing and maintaining such as are excellent in it’ (...

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David Johnson

(b Penicuik House, nr Edinburgh, Nov 8, 1676; d Penicuik, Oct 4, 1755). Scottish politician, composer and music patron. Born into a landed Scottish family, from 1694 to 1697 he studied law at Leiden University, where he probably had composition lessons with Jakob Kremberg. He then did a grand tour until ...

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Edmond Strainchamps

(b Florence, July 17, 1561; d Florence, Dec 29, 1602). Italian patron and composer. He was of aristocratic origins and may have been associated with the Camerata of Count Giovanni de’ Bardi, which was at its most active between 1577 and 1582, though there was rivalry between Bardi and Corsi and among the musicians and patrons associated with each. After Bardi’s departure for Rome in ...

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Ferenc Bónis

(b Eisenstadt [Hung. Kismarton], Sept 7, 1635; d Eisenstadt, March 26, 1713). Hungarian composer, poet and patron of the arts. He was the son of Nikolaus (Miklós) Esterházy, palatine of Hungary. He was a pupil at the Jesuit school in Nagyszombat, where he appeared in school dramas, and later he had a brilliant career as a statesman and soldier. In ...

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Josef-Horst Lederer and Andrew H. Weaver

(b Graz, July 13, 1608; d Vienna, April 2, 1657). Austrian emperor, patron of music, and composer. He was the son of Ferdinand II and became King of the Romans in 1636 and Holy Roman Emperor in 1637; he was succeeded by his son Leopold I. Like his father, he was an enthusiastic patron of music; he maintained a large chapel and used music (both sacred and secular) to shape his public image and maintain political power during the disastrous final decade of the Thirty Years’ War. Also like his father, his musical tastes were decidedly Italianate. Most of the musicians in his chapel were Italian, among the most prominent of which were ...

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(b Cognac, Sept 12, 1494; reigned 1515–47;d Rambouillet, March 31, 1547). French ruler, poet and patron. He was the son of Charles de Valois, Duke of Angoulême, and Louise of Savoy, and succeeded his cousin Louis XII, whose daughter Claude de France he had married in ...

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E. Eugene Helm and Derek McCulloch

(b Berlin, Jan 24, 1712; d Potsdam, Aug 17, 1786). German monarch, patron of the arts, flautist and composer. His father, Friedrich Wilhelm I, was alarmed at his son’s early preference for intellectual and artistic pursuits over the military and religious. In spite of being supervised day and night and in the face of his father’s rages and corporal punishments, Frederick managed, partly through the complicity of his mother and his older sister Wilhelmina, to read forbidden books, to affect French dress and manners and to play flute duets with his servant. As a seven-year-old he was permitted to study thoroughbass and four-part composition with the cathedral organist Gottlieb Hayne. Wilhelmina, also musically talented, joined him in impromptu concerts. On a visit to Dresden in ...

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Christopher Wilkinson

(b Ohlau [now Oława], nr Breslau [now Wrocław], Jan 22, 1595; d Breslau, Jan 14, 1653). German patron, bibliophile, composer and poet. The son of Joachim Friedrich, Duke of Brieg-Liegnitz, he became duke in 1613 at the age of 18. He was educated at the university at Frankfurt an der Oder (Słubice). In his early years he was active as composer and poet. He displayed his love of music as early as ...

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Iain Fenlon

(b Mantua, April 24, 1538; d Goito, nr Mantua, Aug 14, 1587). Italian composer and patron of music. Shortly before he succeeded his uncle, Cardinal Ercole Gonzaga, as Duke of Mantua in 1556, he founded the palatine basilica of S Barbara, which was completed in ...

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Bertil H. van Boer

(b Stockholm, Jan 24, 1746; d Stockholm, March 29, 1792). Swedish ruler, patron and librettist. Son of Queen Lovisa Ulrika (the sister of Frederick the Great) and King Adolph Frederik, he began to write librettos and dramas at the age of ten. He continued his education in Paris, where he began to write paraphrases of ...

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Ruth Smith

(b Gopsall, Leics., 1700; d Gopsall, bur. Nether Whitacre, Warwicks., Nov 20, 1773). English patron, scholar and librettist. The grandson of a wealthy Birmingham ironmaster, he was educated at Balliol College, Oxford, and subsequently divided his time between London and the family estate of Gopsall, Leicestershire, which he inherited, with properties in five other counties, in ...

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Paul C. Echols and Esther R. Crookshank

(b New York, NY, March 8, 1839; d Poland Springs, ME, July 10, 1909). American philanthropist, activist, composer, and hymnal compiler. She was the daughter of lay Methodist evangelists Phoebe Palmer (1807–74), considered the founder of the American Holiness movement, and medical doctor Walter Palmer. The younger Phoebe began composing hymns and songs as a child; two of her earliest tunes, set to hymn texts by her mother, were published in Joseph Hillman’s revival song collection, ...