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Article

Charles Beare

(b ?Salisbury, July 14, 1727; d Salisbury, Feb 18, 1795). English violin maker and instrument dealer. He lived and worked in Salisbury and, with Forster, did much to raise the standard of English violin making in the second half of the 18th century. Banks possibly learnt his craft from a relative or in London, perhaps with Wamsley. His woodwork, using native sycamore for backs and sides and pine for tops, looks like that of Duke and Joseph Hill, but he had even more in common with William Forster (i), since both used a thick, dark red oil-varnish, previously unknown in England. Banks might have worked in London on his own for a time, but most of his instruments are labelled from Salisbury. Banks is, like Forster, particularly famous for the many cellos he made. His violas were of the small size fashionable at the time and are less appreciated now, but his violins, though rare, are very good instruments tonally and sometimes pass for Italian. Of the cellos, most are built on a reduced Amati pattern and are very similar to the work of the Forsters, both in appearance and tone. Occasionally, however, Banks made a cello with features of Stradivari, and these are excellent in every way. Bows were sometimes branded by him, though they were doubtless made for him, and he was careful to brand his instruments, sometimes in many places. Some of the later instruments were made for and branded by the London firm of Longman & Broderip, who also employed lesser makers....

Article

Frank Kidson

revised by William C. Smith, Peter Ward Jones and David Hunter

(b ?1665 or 1666; d London, March 13, 1736). Music seller, engraver, printer, publisher and instrument seller, probably of Irish extraction. He was established in London by about 1690. On 24 June 1692 he was appointed musical instrument-maker-in-ordinary to William III in succession to John Shaw, whose trade sign of ‘The Golden Harp and Hoboy’ he also adopted; in the same year he married Mary Allen, by whom he had 15 children, of whom only three survived infancy.

In 1695, when he began publishing, Walsh had few rivals in the trade. John Playford was dead, and his son Henry evidently lacked the initiative to maintain the family firm as a flourishing concern. Thomas Cross, while popular for his introduction of the engraved single-sheet song, was concerned more with engraving than publishing. Walsh was quick to take advantage of the situation, and engraved music appeared from his premises on a scale previously unknown in England. In addition to works by English composers he printed much popular continental music (including Corelli’s sonatas) which he often copied from Dutch editions. From about ...

Article

Frank Kidson

revised by William C. Smith, Peter Ward Jones and David Hunter

(b London, Dec 23, 1709; d London, Jan 15, 1766). English music seller, printer, publisher and instrument maker . He probably assumed control of the business of his father, John Walsh (i), in about 1730, when the relationship with the Hare family apparently ceased and the numbering of the firm’s publications started. On 8 May 1731 Walsh succeeded to the appointment of instrument maker to the king. Although John Johnson and other rivals arose, the business continued to prosper and maintained its excellent engraving and paper. Burney characterized Walsh (ii) as ‘purveyor general’. Walsh fully developed the firm's relationship with Handel, publishing almost all his later works and in 1739 being granted a monopoly of his music for 14 years. About half of Walsh's output was of Handel compositions. The firm also sold other publishers' works, and bought up the stock of smaller firms when they ceased trading. Many of Walsh's apprentice engravers later set up on their own, including John Caulfield, Thomas Straight and Thomas Skillern. Walsh, who never married, was elected a governor of the Foundling Hospital in ...