Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Camidge, Matthew

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CAMIDGE, MATTHEW (1758–1844), organist and composer, son of John Camidge the elder [q. v.], was born at York in 1758. At an early age he became a chorister of the Chapel Royal, where he was educated by his father's old master, Dr. Nares. On his return to York he became assistant to his father. He is said to have been the first to teach the cathedral choristers to sing from notes; previously all the services had been learnt by ear. The two Camidges also originated the York musical festivals, beginning with a performance, on a small scale, of Handel's ‘Messiah’ at the Belfry church, which led to oratorios being given with orchestral accompaniments in the minster. On the resignation of John Camidge, Matthew was appointed his successor as organist (11 Nov. 1799), a post he held until his retirement, 8 Oct. 1842. He published a considerable quantity of music for the harpsichord, organ, and piano, besides a collection of psalm tunes, a ‘Method of Instruction in Musick by Questions and Answers,’ and some church music. Camidge was married to a niece of Sheriff Atkinson of York, by whom he had three sons; two took orders, and became respectively vicar of Wakefield and canon of York, and chaplain at Moscow and Cronstadt, and the third [see Camidge, John, the younger] succeeded his father as organist of York. Camidge died 23 Oct. 1844, aged eighty-six.

[Authorities as under John Camidge the younger.]

W. B. S.