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Roger J.V. Cotte

[Ennal, Charles-Ernest]

(b Fockenhof, Kurland, Feb 14, 1722; d Paris, March 24, 1791). French dilettante, amateur violinist and composer, patron of the arts and instrument collector. A magnificent and very wealthy nobleman, he both amused and astounded his contemporaries. M. Audinot in his comic opera La musicomanie (1779), and possibly E.T.A. Hoffmann in his tale Die Serapionsbrüder (1819), attempted to evoke his strange personality, emphasizing its ridiculous nature.

At the death of his father, a landed nobleman, in 1747, Bagge inherited a large fortune which enabled him to study the violin in Italy with Tartini. By 1750 he had settled in Paris; in the following year he was awarded the title chambellan du Roi de Prusse (then Frederick II) and married the daughter of the Swiss banker Jacob Maudry. With Maudry's death in 1762 the very large inheritance proved a source of contention to the ill-matched couple and they soon separated. Bagge later attempted to gain possession of the inheritance of Mme Maudry, who had died in ...

Article

Robert J. Bruce

[ Johann Baptist ]

( b Cologne, bap. Jan 15, 1730; d Oxford, Dec 12, 1812). German violinist, collector of national melodies and watercolour artist . Son of a watchmaker, he sang in the choir of Cologne Cathedral for six years from 1744. By 1751 he was in Nancy and in about 1754 he went to London where he taught drawing at a ladies' school and played the violin in concerts at inns. He then moved to Lewes, where he taught music to officers and came under the influence and patronage of the artist Robert Price of Foxley. In 1758 he was living and working as a musician in Bristol, and in the following year he began an association with the Three Choirs Festival (where he led the second violins) which lasted until about 1776.

In 1759 he was elected to lead the Oxford Music Room band, which held weekly concerts, and he remained in Oxford thereafter. He married Elizabeth Jenner in ...

Article

Linda Troost

(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 ...