Thomas Attwood

Thomas Attwood, an English composer, the son of a coal merchant, was born in 1767.

At the age of nine years he entered the Royal Chapel as choir boy, and studied under Drs. Nares and Ayrton. After he had been in this school five years, he chanced to sing before the Prince of Wales, who took him under his protection, and sent him to study composition and singing in Naples.

From Naples he went to Vienna, where he took lessons of Mozart till 1786. On his return to England, he was employed as music teacher of the royal family, and organist of St. Paul’s Church. 1796 he succeeded M. Dupuis as composer of the Royal Chapel; and in 1821 he was made member of the King’s Chapel at Brighton.

Among the many operas which he wrote we will mention “Poor Sailor,” “Smugglers,” “Castle of Sorrento,” “Old Clothes Man,” “True Friends,” and more. Besides these works Mr Attwood composed sonatas for the piano, and church music. His music which was performed by the choir and orchestra at the coronation of King George IV. is exceedingly fine.

His style is tasteful and pure, and the music is very effective. It seems a pity that so good a composer should have been forced to teach, instead of pursuing the career of glory for which Nature seemed to have intended him.