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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 ...

Article

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 ...

Article

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 ...