Boyce, William (opera)
- Ian Bartlett
(b London, Sept 1711; d Kensington, London, Feb 7, 1779). English composer. After serving as a choirboy at St Paul’s Cathedral he became articled to the cathedral organist, Maurice Greene. His first appointment, in 1734, was as a church organist, and not until 1768 did he relinquish his last such post. Shortly after the performance in 1736 of his oratorio David’s Lamentation over Saul and Jonathan, Boyce was appointed a composer to the Chapel Royal. In 1755 he succeeded Greene as Master of the King’s Musick, and he became an organist of the Chapel Royal in 1758. In his later years he devoted himself to the completion of the monumental collection of English church music of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries initiated by Greene and published as Cathedral Music (1760–73). Though Boyce contributed about 65 anthems of his own to the repertory, none was printed in his lifetime. The first of his major works to be published, the serenata ...