Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Forbes, Henry

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FORBES, HENRY (1804–1859), pianist and composer, a pupil of Smart, Hummel, Moscheles, and Herz, had greater success as executive artist and professor than as composer. When organist of St. Luke's, Chelsea, he published (1843) ‘National Psalmody,’ containing some original numbers. His opera, ‘The Fairy Oak,’ was condemned by the critics, although, in spite of, or perhaps in consequence of, its want of originality, it held the stage with the approval of the public for a week or two after the production at Drury Lane, 18 Oct. 1845. A cantata, ‘Ruth,’ was performed in 1847. Forbes was frequently associated with his brother, George Forbes (1813–1883), in concerts, and was between 1827 and 1850 conductor of the Società Armonica. He died on 24 Nov. 1859, in his fifty-sixth year.

[Grove's Dictionary of Music, i. 539, iii. 543; Brown's Dictionary of Musicians, p. 250; London daily and weekly papers of October 1845 and November 1859.]

L. M. M.