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Michael Kassler

(b London, April 22, 1759; d Farley Hill, Berks., Sept 15, 1833). English music collector. After studying at Oxford, he joined family members in a banking firm, and in 1794 was appointed sheriff of Berkshire. A friendship with the musician Charles Frederick Horn (Stephenson and J.P. Salomon were godfathers to Horn’s son Charles Edward) may have led to his activities in the cause of J.S. Bach, which ranged from his gathering Bach enthusiasts to celebrate Bach’s birthday at his home in 1810 to his preparation in about 1808 of an English translation of J.N. Forkel’s biography. This translation, which Horn and Samuel Wesley planned to publish, is not known to be extant; its relationship to the first published translation (London, 1820) is unknown. W.T. Parke called Stephenson’s collection of Cremona violins (which included Stradivari’s 1704 ‘Glennie’ violin and 1731 ‘Paganini’ viola) ‘perhaps the best and most valuable … of any private gentleman in England’. Stephenson’s manuscript collection included J.C. Smith’s copy of Handel’s ...