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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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(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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(b Wolfenbüttel, Oct 24, 1739; d Weimar, April 10, 1807). German amateur musician and patron. She was the daughter of Duke Karl I of Brunswick and a niece of Frederick the Great. As a child she was given a good musical education. At the age of 16 she married the 18-year-old Duke Ernst August Konstantin of Saxe-Weimar; after his death two years later until the accession of her eldest son Duke Karl August on ...

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Elisabeth Cook

(b Vienna, Nov 2, 1755; d Paris, Oct 16, 1793). Queen of France and patron of opera . The daughter of Emperor Franz I of Austria, she received her early tuition from Gluck (clavecin and singing) and Noverre (dance and deportment). As dauphine (...

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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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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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(b Wiederau, Saxony, Dec 20, 1736; d London, June 9, 1809). German musical dilettante. He is sometimes designated ‘of Martinskirche’ to distinguish him from his cousin Hans Moritz ‘of Seifersdorf’. He was a nephew of the famous minister Count Heinrich Brühl and the son of Count Friedrich Wilhelm Brühl, and served in diplomatic posts in Paris and Warsaw before becoming Saxon ambassador to London in ...

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(b Stuttgart, Feb 11, 1728; d ?Stuttgart, 1793). German patron of music. Educated at the court of Frederick the Great, the young duke began his reign in 1744, emulating the Potsdam court at his own residence in Stuttgart. The court theatre was rebuilt in ...

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Harrison James Wignall

(b Trent, 1716; d Milan, 1782). Austrian patron of music. Born into a noble family, he studied initially for the priesthood in Bavaria and continued his education in Innsbruck and Salzburg. After travelling in the Netherlands, France and Italy, he was (from 1745...

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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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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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John A. Rice

(fl 1776–91). Austrian amateur musician and patron. A diplomat in Berlin during the 1770s and in Naples during the 1780s, he pursued a variety of musical activities. He played and composed for the keyboard (including two published sonatas); he improved a hurdy-gurdy, which he called the ...

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John A. Rice

(b Vienna, May 5, 1747; d Vienna, March 1, 1792). Holy Roman Emperor, patron of music, third son of Empress Maria Theresa Habsburg and Francis of Lorraine. As a patron Leopold influenced operatic life in both Tuscany, which he ruled as Grand Duke from ...

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(b Brunswick, c1755; d Paris, 1811). German musical dilettante. He was chamberlain to the Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, from 1788 was in the service of the Prince of Prussia, and from 1799 served as a diplomat in Munich and Paris. He composed symphonies, chamber music and keyboard sonatas in a ...

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Elisabeth Cook

(b Paris, Dec 29, 1721; d Versailles, April 16, 1764). French patron . She married Guillaume Lenormand, Seigneur d’Etioles, in 1741 and established a popular salon frequented by such leading literary figures as Pompeo magno Voltaire, C.-L. de Secondat, Baron de la Brède et de Montesquieu and Fontenelle. In ...

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Elliot Forbes and William Meredith

(b St Petersburg, 22 Oct/Nov 2, 1752; d Vienna, Sept 23, 1836). Russian patron of music. He entered diplomatic service in 1772 and was Russian ambassador to Vienna, 1792–9 and 1801–6. In 1788 he married Countess Elisabeth of Thun, sister of Princess Lichnowsky. After her death in ...

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Mark Lindley

(b Montpellier, Sept 14, 1723; d Montpellier, Nov 8, 1766). French dilettante and scientist. In December 1751 he announced his discovery of difference tones, which he had made by experiments with wind instruments. (Nearly three years later Tartini, evidently unaware of Romieu’s work, published his discovery of the same phenomenon observed in double stops on the violin.) Romieu’s ‘Mémoire théorique & practique sur les systèmes temperés de musique’, published in the ...

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J.H. Calmeyer

(d Eckernförde, Feb 27, 1784). Courtier, adventurer, amateur scientist, inventor and dilettante musician. He purposely concealed his background and identity, and used such pseudonyms as Count Welldone, Prince Ragotzy, Count Bellamare and Count Surmont on his wide travels throughout Europe. Further confusion has arisen with the like-named French general Claude Louis de Saint Germain and with Robert-François Quesnay de Saint Germain, an ardent occultist who may have written the essays ...

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William Weber

(b Lackham, Wilts., Nov 3, 1718; d London, April 30, 1792). English statesman and amateur musician . He followed a naval career, served as First Lord of the Admiralty in 1748–51 and 1771–82 and significantly reorganized the administration of the navy; he became embroiled in political conflict as a spokesman for George III, especially during the prosecution of John Wilkes and the American War. After his first period in office, Sandwich turned his energies to the performance of ‘ancient’ music which under his leadership was redefined from music of the 16th century to that two or more decades old. In this he was supported by his secretary, the amateur musician Joah Bates, who was an avid Handelian. While he was patron to the violinist Giardini, Sandwich's main early pursuit was the founding in ...

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(b Leiden, Oct 29, 1733; d Vienna, March 29, 1803). Dutch music patron, active in Austria. He was the son of the distinguished doctor Gerhard van Swieten, and the family moved to Vienna in 1745 when his father was appointed personal physician to Empress Maria Theresa. After completing his education at the ‘Theresianum’, Vienna’s exclusive Jesuit school, Gottfried briefly held a post in the Austrian civil service before embarking on an extended period of diplomatic training. Between ...