1765-1838

November 23, 1765, London, England.

March 24, 1838, at his home in Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, England.

Under the organ in St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, England.

Son of a musician, Attwood became a chorister in the Chapel Royal at age nine, and was a pupil of Nares and Ayrton. At age 16, he went to Italy to study, staying in Naples (1783), and later in Vienna, where he studied under Mozart. Returning to England in 1787, he began playing the organ at as assistant to Reinhold at St. George the Martyr in Queen Square, Holborn, and was one of the Chamber Musicians and Page, to the Prince of Wales. He became music teacher to the Duchess of York in 1791, to the Princess of Wales in 1795, organist at St. Paul’s Cathedral in 1796 (succeeding Jones), and composer to the Chapel Royal in 1796 (succeeding Dr. Dupuis). He became organist at the King’s private chapel in Brighton, 1821, and organist at the Chapel Royal in 1836.

Attwood used to say with reference to the Dignitaries of St. Paul’s and his appointment there: It is all very well that they agree to pay me for playing, for if they did not, I should be happy to pay them for letting me play.

Mendelssohn, when in England, frequently accompanied his friend Attwood to St. Paul’s, and played on the Organ. It is said that on one occasion, when he was playing at the end of an afternoon service, the vergers experienced such difficulty in dispersing the congregation, that they caused the bellows to be stopped in the midst of his performance, much to his disgust and that of his hearers.

West, p. 73

  1. Attwood
  2. Chelsea
  3. St. Paul

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