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date: 21 October 2019

Shield, William locked

  • Linda Troost

Extract

(b Swalwell, nr Newcastle upon Tyne, March 5, 1748; d London, Jan 25, 1829). English composer, viola player and song collector. As the son of a music teacher he learnt the rudiments of music early, but after the death of his father in 1757 he was apprenticed to a boat builder, Edward Davison of South (or North) Shields. He resumed musical studies with Charles Avison of Newcastle, playing the violin in local concerts. His earliest known composition, now lost, was an anthem written for the consecration of St John’s, Sunderland, on 6 March 1769. About 1770, after finishing his apprenticeship, he became leader of the theatre band and conductor of the concerts first at Scarborough and then at Durham. Encouraged by Luigi Borghi, in 1772 he moved to London to play second violin at the King’s Theatre, transferring to principal viola the following season. He held that position for 18 years, even after replacing Michael Arne as house composer to Covent Garden in autumn ...

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