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date: 16 December 2019

Braham, Johnlocked

  • Ronald Crichton

Extract

(b London, March 20, 1774; d London, Feb 17, 1856). English tenor and composer. His origins are obscure: both parents (his father is variously described as a German or Portuguese Jew) died when he was young. At the Great Synagogue in Duke’s Place the boy’s voice attracted the attention of the singer Leoni (Meyer Leon) and of the financier Abraham Goldsmid. Leoni, sometimes described as Braham’s uncle, trained him and introduced him as a boy soprano at Covent Garden on 21 April 1787, when he sang Arne’s The Soldier, Tir'd of War's Alarms, from Artaxerxes, and later at the Royalty Theatre, Wellclose Square. When Leoni went to the West Indies and Braham’s voice broke, with Goldsmid’s help he became a piano teacher. After his voice had settled he spent three years at Bath studying with Venanzio Rauzzini. He made some appearances there, and met Nancy Storace, a former pupil of Rauzzini. As a result he was engaged in ...

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Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, 1885-1901, suppls., 1901-96)