Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Bowley, Robert Kanzow

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For works with similar titles, see Robert Kanzow Bowley.

BOWLEY, ROBERT KANZOW (1813–1870), amateur musician, was born 13 May 1813. His father was a bootmaker at Charing Cross, and Bowley was brought up to the same business. His first taste for music was acquired by associating with the choristers of Westminster Abbey, and at an early age he became a member, and subsequently conductor, of the Benevolent Society of Musical Amateurs. He was a member of the committee of the amateur musical festival held at Exeter Hall in 1834, and about the same date was appointed organist of an independent chapel near Leicester Square. Bowley joined the Sacred Harmonic Society in 1834, and all his life contributed much to its success, being librarian from 1837 to 1854, and treasurer from 1854 to the year of his death. It was Bowley who, in 1856, originated the plan of the gigantic Handel festivals, which have been held every three years at the Crystal Palace since 1857. His connection with these performances led to his appointment On 1858) as general manager of the building at Sydenham, a post he continued to hold until his death, which took place 25 Aug. 1870.

[Mr. W. H. Husk in Grove's Dict. of Music. i. 266 b, 658.]

W. B. S.