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Gray, Thomaslocked

  • Nicholas Temperley

Extract

(b London, Dec 26, 1716; d Cambridge, July 30, 1771). English music collector, poet and amateur musician. He was educated at Eton and Peterhouse, Cambridge. After touring Italy with Horace Walpole during the period 1739–41, he divided his time between London, Stoke Poges (where his mother had retired) and Cambridge, where he was first a fellow of Peterhouse and then of Pembroke College. As well as being one of the greatest poets of his time, Gray had a fine connoisseur’s taste in painting, architecture, natural history, and music. While in Italy he began to assemble a remarkable library of Italian music, largely consisting of operatic arias in score. He was especially fond of Pergolesi, but also admired older composers including Palestrina; he had no great love of Handel. He was an accomplished harpsichord player and kept Viscount Fitzwilliam’s instrument in his rooms at Peterhouse; later, perhaps under the influence of his friend ...

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