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John Koegel

(b Puerto Príncipe, Cuba, ?Nov 28, 1844; d Havana, ?Dec 31, 1918). Pianist, music teacher, arranger, conductor, composer, and lawyer of Cuban birth, naturalized American. Born into a prominent family in Puerto Príncipe, Cuba (present-day Camagüey), Agramonte strongly supported the movement for independence from Spain. He studied music and the law in Cuba, Spain, and France. After vocal studies with Enrico Delle Sedie (1822–1907) and François Delsarte (1811–71) at the Paris Conservatory, he immigrated to the United States, settling in New York in 1869, where he remained until after Cuban independence in 1898. He became a US citizen in 1886.

In the 1870s and 1880s, Agramonte taught music at the Academy of Mount Saint Vincent in the Bronx. In the 1890s he taught with Dudley Buck and William Mason at the Metropolitan College of Music and ran his own School of Opera and Oratorio at his home, teaching singers such as ...

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Philip Olleson and Stanley C. Pelkey

Member of Wesley family

(b Bristol, Feb 24, 1766; d London, Oct 11, 1837). English composer and organist, younger son of Charles Wesley (i). Like his elder brother he was a child prodigy. According to his father’s account, he was able to play his first tune before he was three, at four had taught himself to read from a copy of Handel’s Samson, and at five ‘had all the recitatives, and choruses of Samson and the Messiah: both words and notes by heart’. He had his first organ lessons at the age of six from David Williams, a Bristol organist, and at seven was able to play a psalm tune during the service at St James’s Church. He also became proficient on the violin. His fame rapidly spread, and in 1774 William Boyce came to visit the family, saying to Wesley’s father, ‘Sir, I hear you have got an English Mozart in your house’. Shortly afterwards Wesley presented Boyce with the score of his oratorio ...

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Nicholas Temperley and Peter Horton

Member of Wesley family

(b London, Aug 14, 1810; d Gloucester, April 19, 1876). English composer and organist, illegitimate son of Samuel Wesley and Sarah Suter. He was the greatest composer in the English cathedral tradition between Purcell and Stanford.

He was named after his father and his father’s hero, Bach. In his eighth year he was elected a chorister of the Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace, under William Hawes, and subsequently also sang regularly in the royal chapel at Brighton, delighting George IV. Like other choristers he was often taken by Hawes to sing at St Paul’s Cathedral and at the Madrigal Society and the Concert of Ancient Music. After leaving the choir in 1826 he held several appointments as organist in the London area and assisted his master, Hawes, both as pianist and ‘conductor of the chorus’ at the English Opera House at the Lyceum, Adelphi, and Olympic Theatres (...