Born: Ju­ly 5, 1775, Green’s Lane, Nor­wich, Nor­folk, Eng­land.

Died: De­cem­ber 29, 1847, Taun­ton, So­mer­set, Eng­land.

Buried: Saint Pe­ter and Saint Paul Church, Bi­shop’s Hull, So­mer­set, Eng­land.

© National Portrait Gallery


Crotch’s mu­sic­al gift showed its­elf ear­ly; at age two, he was play­ing the or­gan which his fa­ther built. With­in a year, he was giv­ing pub­lic re­cit­als in Lon­don, and ac­a­de­mics wrote pa­pers about the young pro­di­gy.

He was play­ing vi­o­lin and pi­a­no by age 7, and by 11 was as­sist­ant or­gan­ist to John Ran­dall at King’s Col­lege, Cam­bridge. He com­posed an or­a­to­rio by 14, and at 15 was the or­gan­ist at Christ Church, Ox­ford.

He re­ceived his doc­tor­al degree at age 24. In 1822, he helped found the Roy­al Acad­e­my of Mu­sic. He had a dis­ting­uished ca­reer com­pos­ing, teach­ing, and lec­tur­ing.

Crotch pos­sessed an un­u­su­al fa­cil­i­ty in the use of his hands, and was able to write as eas­i­ly with his left as with his right. It is al­so said that, in or­der to save time, he would oft­en write down the notes of two sep­a­rate staves of mu­sic si­mul­ta­ne­ous­ly.

West, p. 86