Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Chatterton, John Balsir

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CHATTERTON, JOHN BALSIR (1802?–1871), harpist, was born at Portsmouth, where his father, John Chatterton, was professor of music. The exact date of his birth is uncertain. At the time of his death it was stated that he was in his sixty-seventh year, but according to the information of his relatives he was born in 1802. He came to London, and studied the harp under Bochsa and Labarre, succeeding the former as professor at the Royal Academy of Music. His first appearance in London took place at a concert given by Aspull in 1824. In 1842 he received the appointment of harpist to the queen. His last public performance at Windsor was on the occasion of the marriage of Princess Louise. He died after two days' illness at 32 Manchester Street 11 April 1871, and was buried at Kensal Green. Chatterton wrote a considerable amount of harp music, mostly consisting of fantasias and arrangements. As a performer, his talents were overshadowed by those of his younger brother, Frederick.

[Information from Mr. and Mrs. F. Chatterton; Musical Examiner for 1844, 851; Musical Directory for 1872; Orchestra, 14 and 21 April 1871; Times, 11 April 1871.]

W. B. S.