Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Mudie, Thomas Molleson

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MUDIE, THOMAS MOLLESON (1809–1876), composer, of Scottish descent, was born at Chelsea 30 Nov. 1809, and showed much musical capacity in the first examination of candidates for admission to the Royal Academy of Music in 1823. He took for leading studies at the academy composition, pianoforte, and clarinet, on which he obtained great proficiency. He was appointed a professor of the pianoforte in the academy in 1832, and held the post till 1844. In 1834 he became organist at Gatton, Surrey, the seat of Lord Monson, who, at his death in 1840, bequeathed him an annuity of 100l., but this Mudie relinquished in favour of his patron's widow. In 1844, on the death of his friend, Alfred Devaux, he went to Edinburgh to succeed him as a teacher of music. In 1863 he returned to London. He died there, unmarried, 24 July 1876, and was interred in Highgate cemetery.

As a composer Mudie's successes were mainly confined to his earlier years. While a student at the academy his song 'Lungi dal caro bene' was thought so meritorious that the committee paid the cost of its publication, an act which has been repeated only once since. Several vocal pieces, with orchestral accompaniment and symphonies in C and in B flat, were also composed while he was a student. The Society of British Musicians, founded in 1834, gave him much encouragement, and at their concerts were performed a symphony in F (1835), a symphony in D (1837), a quintet in E flat for pianoforte and strings (1843), a trio in D for pianoforte and strings (1843), and several songs and concerted vocal pieces on different occasions. While in Edinburgh he composed a number of pianoforte pieces and songs, and wrote accompaniments for a large proportion of the airs in Wood's 'Songs of Scotland.' His published music consists of forty-eight pianoforte solos, six pianoforte duets, nineteen fantasias, twenty-four sacred songs, three sacred duets, three chamber anthems for three voices, forty-two separate songs, and two duets. The existing scores of his symphonies and all his printed works are deposited in the library of the Royal Academy of Music. The drudgery of music-teaching seems to have diminished his powers of artistic conception, but some of his compositions, notably the pianoforte pieces and the symphony in B flat, are excellent.

[Grove's Dict. of Music, ii. 406; Brown's Biog. Dict. of Musicians; Musical Times, August 1876, p. 563.]

J. C. H.