William Byrd (1543 - 1623 / England)
English composer, born in London in 1542 or 1543; died 4 July, 1623.
He was the son of a musician, and studied music principally under Thomas Tallis. He became organist at Lincoln Cathedral in 1563, chorister in the Chapel Royal in 1570, and in 1575 received the title of "Organist of the Chapel Royal" without being obliged to perform the functions of that office.
Byrd was the most distinguished contrapuntist and the most prolific composer of his time in England. Fétis calls him the English Palestrina. He was the first Englishman to write madrigals, a form which originated in Italy in the thirteenth century, and received its highest development in the sixteenth century at ... more »
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