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Classical Composers A-Z: Orlando Gibbons

Peter Wintersgill tell us of Orlando Gibbons, who became the organist in the Chapel Royal when he was 22.

Born
Oxford in 1583.

Adult Life
After a short spell as chorister at Kings College Cambridge, he was an undergraduate there, qualifying as Mus. Bac. He was then organist at the Chapel Royal at 22, later
organist at Westminster Abbey at 40.

He wrote a great deal of church music in a fairly short life, including many anthems, e.g. This is the Record of John, See, See, the Word is Incarnate, Hosanna to the Son of David, and O Clap your Hands.

He also wrote many madrigals and motets, string fantasias and keyboard works.

He had a father, three brothers and a son who were also musicians.

He died at Canterbury on 5th June, 1625, aged 42, of a stroke, while awaiting the arrival of Queen Maria from France.

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