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Leonard Burkat

revised by Pamela Fox

The earliest choral singing in Boston was the first settlers’ congregational psalm singing, which continued through later times of controversy over the relative virtues of the old style and the cultivated new style promoted in the singing schools. Church and community choirs were formed throughout New England from the 1750s. The work of George K. Jackson, who in 1812 organized a concert of Handel’s music, was instrumental in broadening the musical repertory of Boston’s churches.

The Handel and Haydn Society was formed for the purpose of ‘cultivating and improving a correct taste in the performance of sacred music, and also to introduce into more general practice the works of Handel, Haydn, and other eminent composers’. It gave its first concert on 25 December 1815 and served as the prototype for similar organizations in other cities. At Christmas 1818 the society gave its first performance of the complete Messiah; on 16 February 1819...


Winton Dean

revised by Cheryll Duncan and Rachel Allen


(b c 1715; bur. Hammersmith, Middlesex, July 20, 1778). French soprano. Although her birth name was Duparc, she was known professionally as Francesina. Trained in Italy, she sang in several operas at Florence, Pistoia, and Lucca in 1731–5. In 1736 she was engaged by the Opera of the Nobility for London; her first appearance there was on November 15, when she sang and danced before members of the royal family at Kensington Palace. The following week she made her King’s Theatre début in Hasse’s Siroe, and went on to sing in operas by Broschi, Pescetti, Veracini, and Duni. The following season (1737–8) she appeared in operas by Pescetti and Veracini, Handel’s new operas Faramondo (Clotilde) and Serse (Romilda), and his pasticcio Alessandro Severo (Sallustia). From then she was known almost exclusively as a Handel singer. She was his leading soprano at the King’s Theatre in early ...


Gwilym Beechey

revised by Linda Troost

English family of musicians.

Linley, Thomas (i) (b Badminton, Gloucs., Jan 17, 1733; d London, Nov 19, 1795)

Linley, Elizabeth Ann (b Bath, Sept 7, 1754; d Bristol, June 28, 1792)

Linley, Thomas (ii) (b Bath, May 7, 1756; d Grimsthorpe, Lincs., Aug 5, 1778)

Linley, Mary [Polly] (b Bath, Jan 4, 1758; d Clifton, Bristol, July 27, 1787)

Linley, Ozias Thurston (b Bath, bap. Aug 22, 1765; d London, March 6, 1831)

Linley, William (b Bath, Jan 27, 1771; d London, May 6, 1835)

BDA; FiskeETM; SainsburyD A Monody (after the manner of Milton’s Lycidas) on the Death of Mr Linley (London, 1778)M. Cooke: A Short Account of the Late Mr. Thomas Linley, Junior (MS, 1812, GB-Lbl )J. Watkins: Memoirs of the Public and Private Life of the Right Honourable Richard Brinsley Sheridan...


Peter Holman and Robert Thompson

Member of Purcell family

(d Westminster, London, England, Aug 11, 1664). Singer. He is named as a performer in the 1656 edition of William Davenant's Siege of Rhodes, The. After the Restoration he became a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal and on 16 February 1661 he was appointed a singing-man and Master of the Choristers at Westminster Abbey. At this time he and his wife Elizabeth (d 1699) probably had three or four young sons, including (3) Henry (ii): the eldest, Edward, was aged five or six. Their daughter Katherine was baptized in Westminster Abbey in March 1662; (4) Daniel, if he was a son of (1) Henry (i) and not (2) Thomas, may have been born after his father's death, as he was still a Chapel Royal chorister in 1682. Administration of Henry's estate, worth £32 3s, was granted to Elizabeth in the court of the dean and chapter of Westminster on ...


Cecil Hill

Member of Ries family

(b Bonn, c1745; d after 1794). German singer, daughter of Johann Ries. She was appointed soprano at the electoral court at Bonn on April 27, 1764. In 1774 she married Ferdinand Drewer, a violinist in the court orchestra, and they remained in Bonn until ...


Eva Badura-Skoda and Roberto Pagano

Member of Scarlatti family

(b ?Palermo, 1669–72; d Naples, Aug 1, 1760). Tenor, brother of (1) Alessandro Scarlatti. He went to Naples at such an early age that he later knew nothing of his infancy in Sicily. He was apparently trained at the Conservatorio S Onofrio. On his marriage certificate (30 May 1701) he declared that he had never left Naples, but this detail conflicts with his presence in Crema at the beginning of the same year, when he was described as ‘virtuoso del duca di S Pietro’ and sang the principal role in Il Furio Camillo (the dedication on the libretto is dated 22 January 1701) and in L’innocenza giustificata. In 1703 he sang in his nephew Domenico’s Giustino in Naples. At the beginning of his career he played serious roles, but later specialized as a buffo tenor, contributing to the establishment of a Neapolitan version of an old ingredient of Venetian opera. Sartori (...


Paul Corneilson

Member of Weber family

(b Zell im Wiesental, 1733; d Vienna, Oct 23, 1779). German vocalist. He was a bass singer at the Mannheim court chapel from 1767 to 1778, and also copied music for Mozart there in 1777–8. In 1756 he married Marie Cecilia Stamm (1727–93...