Smith, John (1797-1861) (DNB00)

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SMITH, JOHN (1797–1861), musician, was born at Cambridge in 1797, and educated as a chorister in one of the chapel choirs. In 1815 he entered the choir of Christ Church, Dublin, and on 9 Feb. 1819 was appointed a vicar choral of St. Patrick's Cathedral. He also held the offices of chief composer of state music, master of the king's band of state musicians in Ireland, and composer to the Chapel Royal, Dublin. He possessed a fine tenore robusto voice, and considerable gifts as a composer of church music. His most important work was an oratorio, ‘The Revelation.’ In 1837 he published a volume of cathedral music, comprising services and anthems, a ‘Veni Creator’ and a ‘Magnificat’ and Nunc Dimittis in B flat, which are well known in English cathedrals. Of his secular music, the trio ‘O Beata Virgine’ (1840?) and the quartet ‘Love wakes and weeps’ attained considerable popularity. Smith died in Dublin on 12 Nov. 1861, and was succeeded in his professorship by Dr. (afterwards Sir Robert) Stewart [q. v.]

[Grove's Dictionary of Music, iii. 540; Musical Times, 1 Jan. 1862.]

R. N.