( b London, Jan 3, 1810; d East Molesey, Surrey, Feb 20, 1879). Welsh pianist and singer , son of John Parry . He studied the harp under Bochsa and in May 1825 appeared as a performer on that instrument. His principal gifts, however, were as a pianist and, above all, as a baritone and entertainer. His voice was rich, though not powerful, and was at its best in a comic vein or in simple ballads. In 1833 he went to Italy, living for some time at Naples where he learnt from Lablache. At his benefit concert in June 1836 he gave the first public indication in England of the extraordinary nature of his comic talent, by joining Maria Malibran in Mazzinghi's duet When a little farm we keep, and mimicking Harley. In the same year he appeared in his father's Sham Prince, in Hullah's Village Coquettes and other pieces. In ...
revised by Nicholas Temperley
(b Exeter, Oct 28, 1823; d Leeds, June 16, 1897). English organist and writer. His father William Spark (1797–1865) was a lay vicar of Exeter Cathedral; two brothers were also musicians. He was a chorister at Exeter Cathedral and was articled to S.S. Wesley for five years in 1840. When Wesley moved to Leeds parish church in 1842, Spark went with him, and was soon appointed organist successively at Chapeltown and St Paul’s, Leeds. Appointments at Tiverton, Daventry, and St George’s, Leeds (1850), followed. From his return to Leeds he was extremely active in local music, founding the Leeds Madrigal and Motet Society, the People’s Concerts, and other organizations. With Henry Smart he designed the large organ for the new town hall, opened in 1858, and was elected borough organist, a post which he held until his death. His views on organ building, tending to promote the French school, were influential. He played an organ sonata at the first Leeds Festival (...