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Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Thomas Attwood

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ATTWOOD, THOMAS, musical composer, was born in London in 1767. As one of the boy choristers in the chapel royal he received his early instruction in music from Nares and Ayrton. In 1783 he was sent to study abroad at the expense of the Prince of Wales, who had been favourably impressed by his skill as a performer on the harpsichord. After spending two years at Naples, Attwood proceeded to Vienna, where he became a favourite pupil of Mozart. On his return to London he held for a short time an appointment as one of the chamber musicians to the prince of Wales. In 1795 he was chosen organist of St Paul s, and in the following year he succeeded Dr Dupuis as composer to the chapels royal. His court con nection was further confirmed by his appointment as musical instructor to the duchess of York and afterwards to the princess of Wales. For the coronation of George IV. he composed the anthem, The King shall Rejoice, a work of high merit. The king, who had neglected him for some years on account of his connection with the princess of Wales, now restored him to favour, and in 1821 appointed him organist to his private chapel at Brighton. Soon after the institution of the Royal Academy of Music, Attwood was chosen one of the professors. He wrote the anthem, Lord, grant the King a Long Life, which was performed at the coronation of William IV., and he was composing a similar work for the coronation of Queen Victoria when he died (March 24, 1838). Attwood s com positions are favourable specimens of the English school. His services and anthems were published in a collected form after his death by his pupil Walmesley, and are fre quently used in cathedral worship. Of his secular composi tions several songs and glees are well known and popular. The operas which he composed in early life are now almost forgotten, belonging, as they do, to a period when English music was at its lowest ebb.