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

December 29, 1847, Taunton, Somerset, England.

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

  1. Sidon
  2. St. Michael