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David Johnson

(b Milan, 1749; d Dublin, 1816). Italian singer, composer and impresario. He is said to have obtained a MusD from the University of Milan; he then went to London with his countryman Rontzini in search of work, spent unspecified years there and in Dublin, appeared singing Scottish songs at concerts in Glasgow between 1781 and 1784, and settled in Edinburgh in 1784.

In Edinburgh he sang at the Musical Society concerts in St Cecilia's Hall and published six volumes of Scottish songs, including original songs of his own; he ran a music shop and publishing house with Edward Liston at 10 Princes Street from 1795, wrote a singing instruction manual, and lost a lot of money mounting Handel's oratorios. Around 1808 he returned to Dublin, destitute, and died there in 1816. Two operas by him were performed in Dublin during the 1784–5 season, but many of his compositions seem to be lost....