Klitz, Philip (DNB00)

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KLITZ, PHILIP (1805–1854), musician and author, was born at Lymington, Hampshire, 7 Jan. 1805. His father, George Philip Klitz, drum-major of the royal Flintshire militia, and musical composer, was born at Biebrich, Germany, in 1777, and died at Lymington in 1839. In 1801 he married Elizabeth Lane of Boldre (1775–1838), and by her he had a large family, which included six sons, all well-known musicians: (1) Philip; (2) William, organist of St. Michael's Church, Basingstoke, died 31 May 1857; (3) Charles, organist of St. Thomas's Church, Lymington, died 16 Feb. 1864; (4) James Frederick, died at Northampton 2 Oct. 1870; (5) Robert John; (6) John Henry, died 6 Dec. 1880, who by will founded the Widow and Orphans British and Foreign Musical Society. Philip, the eldest, early became a composer of ball-room music. About 1829 he took up his residence at Southampton, where, besides classical music, he produced a variety of ballads, of which the words were frequently his own. He was a brilliant performer on the pianoforte and violin, and in 1831 conducted Paganini's concert in Southampton. His lectures on music, given in literary institutions and other places, were always well attended, and his advocacy of the Hullah system [see Hullah, John Pyke] met with much success. He was first organist of St. Lawrence and St. Joseph's Church, Southampton, and from 1845 to his death of All Saints' Church. In 1838 he printed ‘Songs of the Mid-watch, the Poetry by Captain Willes Johnson, the Music composed for and dedicated to the British Navy.’ These six songs were, by order of the admiralty, reprinted in a work entitled ‘Songs of Charles Dibdin. Arranged by T. Dibdin,’ 1850, pp. 315–20. Besides his musical works, he was the author in 1850 of a book entitled ‘Sketches of Life, Character, and Scenery in the New Forest: a series of Tales, Rural, Domestic, Legendary, and Humorous.’ To the masonic body he gave his support, and his composition, ‘Faith, Hope, and Charity,’ is still introduced at the entertainments of the Hampshire lodges. He was one of the first persons to write songs for the concerts of Ethiopian serenaders. ‘Miss Ginger’ and ‘Dinah Dear,’ both in 1847, became very popular ditties. He died at 24 Portland Place, Southampton, on 12 Jan. 1854. His wife was Charlotte Lyte, a half-sister of the well-known hymn-writer, the Rev. H. F. Lyte. His son, George Klitz, was also a voluminous musical composer.

Klitz's best-known pieces, besides those already mentioned, were: 1. ‘Song of the Spanish Cavalier,’ 1835. 2. ‘I never cast a Flower away,’ 1853. 3. ‘King Alfred in the Danish Camp.’ 4. ‘Napoleon's Grave.’ But it is difficult to distinguish the pieces written by the father, the son, and the grandson.

[Gent. Mag. March 1854, p. 328; Hampshire Independent, 14 Jan. 1854, p. 5; information from Mr. Charles John Klitz.]

G. C. B.