Joseph Bodin de Boismortier: 23 Dec 1689 – 28 Oct 1755

Joseph Bodin de Boismortier was a French composer of both instrumental and vocal music. He became very rich in his mid-thirties by securing a royal license as an engraver which enabled him to publish his own music and sell it to the public. He wrote for many amateur musicians and their instruments and voice. He spent the first… Read More »

Luigi Boccherini: 19 Feb 1743 – 28 May 1805

Introduction Luigi Boccherini was an Italian composer and cellist. His family were musical – his father a cellist and double bass player, and his uncle a poet and dancer who wrote libretto’s for Joseph Haydn and Antonio Salieri. At the age of five Luigi’s father started teaching him the cello. Bizet created approximately five hundred works which included… Read More »

Georges Bizet: 25 October 1838 – 3 June 1875

Introduction Georges Bizet was a French Romantic composer who was born in Paris. His father, Adolphe was a singing teacher and his mother was a pianist and was Georges first music teacher. Georges was an only child. Education and Life He was offered a place at the Paris Conservatoire at the age of nine (due to his talent… Read More »

Franz Behr: 22 July 1837 – 15 Feb 1898

Franz Behr was a German composer well known in his day for composing songs and salon pieces, however he is very rarely heard of today. The only piece that is known today is Lachtäubchen, Scherzpolka in F major, Op. 303 (La rieuse, polka badine), which is only in the form of transcription as a virtuoso piano piece Polka de… Read More »

Thomas Bateson: c1570 – 1630

Thomas Bateson was an English organist and writer of madrigals, which has given him a place amongst Elizabethan composers. In 1599 he is said to have become the organist of Chester Cathedral and been the first musical graduate of Trinity College, Dublin. Between 1609 until his death he served as Vicar Choral and organist of Christ Church Cathedral,… Read More »

Béla Bartók: 25 March 1881 – 26 Sept 1945

Béla Bartók was a Hungarian composer, pianist and ethnomusicologist (study of world music from all perspectives), and teacher. He showed talent on the piano at an early age and his mother started formally teaching him from the age of five. He composed short pieces including a piece called The Course of the Danube which he performed two years… Read More »

Adriano Banchieri: 3 Sept 1568 – 1634

Adriano Banchieri was born Tommaso Banchieri in Bologna. He was an Italian composer, theorist, organist and poet and was one of the primary developers and composers of madrigal comedies. He produced mostly sacred and secular music. Aged nineteen he became a monk and changed his name to Adriano. He was best known at this time as an organist… Read More »

Michael Balfe: 15 May 1808 – 20 Oct 1870

Introduction Michael Balfe was an Irish singer and composer. His father was a dance master and violinist and as a young boy Michael played the violin for his father’s dance classes. At the age of nine Balfe appeared in public playing the violin and later wrote the ballad ‘Young Fanny’ later named the ‘Lover’s Mistake’. On the death… Read More »

Thomas Arne: 12 March 1710 – 5 March 1779

Introduction Thomas Arne was an English composer famous for his patriotic piece ‘Rule Britannia’, which is sung every year on New Years Eve in Great Britain. His father and grandfather were upholsterers and wanted Thomas to study law. However on discovering Thomas’s talent and his leadership of a group of musicians his father allowed him to leave law… Read More »