Complete Encyclopaedia of Music/B/Blewitt Jonathan

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Blewitt Jonathan, was born in London in 1782. He was the son of Jonas Blewitt, an organist in London, and author of the first treatise on the organ published in England. Jonathan Blewitt received the groundwork of his musical education under his father, and was afterwards placed under his godfather, Jonathan Battishill. At an early age Blewitt evinced a taste for music, and at eleven years old was appointed deputy organist to his father. He was afterwards engaged to play at All Hallows Barking, Tower Street, for evening lecture, for which a choir was engaged. He then became organist of the chapel at Blackheath, at the time it was attended by her royal highness the Princess of Wales. From thence he removed to Haverhill, Suffolk, at the recommendation of Dr. Arnold, one of his early friends. He next became organist at Brecon, succeeding Mr. Campion, a pupil of his father's, where he remained three years. On the death of his father he returned to London ; first, in the expectation of succeeding him in his situation, and secondly, because he had composed an opera written by a lady of distinction, which was to have been brought out at Drury Lane. The theatre, however, being burned down at this period, and circumstances occurring which prevented his election to his father's place, he was disappointed in both expectations, and again returned to the country, where he succeeded in gaining the situation of organist at Sheffield, after a competition in playing with many candidates. In the year 1811, Blewitt visited Ireland, and was patronized by the late Lord Cahir, in whose family he resided for some months ; he then became composer and director to the Theatre Royal in Dublin.

After Logier commenced propagating his system of musical instruction in Ireland, Blewitt was the first who joined him; and being an able lecturer, and possessing sound musical knowledge, he soon procured the great majority of musical pupils in the metropolis of Ireland. He was then appointed, by the Duke of Leinster, grand organist to the masonic body of Ireland ; he also conducted concerts in Dublin, and officiated in this capacity at the coronation concert during the stay of his majesty in that kingdom. He then became organist of the parish church of St. Andrew's, Dublin. Blewitt was much ad-mired for his extemporaneous performances on the organ, especially in the fugue style. His compositions are numerous ; among the principal are, "The Corsair," an opera ; "The Magician," an opera ; "The Island of Saints," an opera ; "Concerto for the Piano-forte ; " "Grand Sonata for the Piano-forte;" "La Nymphe Heureuse;" "The Battle of Vittoria;" "Royal Divertimento, dedicated to the King;" "Royal Scotch Divertimento, dedicated to the King on his Visit to Scotland;" "I Pezzi Scelti; " "La Violetta;" "Duets for the Piano-forte;" "The Vocal Assistant;" "Simplification of Modulation and Accompaniment;" "Voluntaries for the Organ," &c. Songs in the Irish style;" "Katty O'Lynch;" "Emerald Isle;" "Norah MacFriskey;" "Paddy O'Ran," &c. Songs and duets : "Rosalie," "Rosabel," "I blame thee not," &c.