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 Samuel Arnold

Samuel Arnold

Birth
London, City of London, Greater London, England
Death 22 Oct 1802 (aged 62)
London, City of London, Greater London, England
Burial Westminster, City of Westminster, Greater London, England
Memorial ID 21086949 · View Source
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Composer. He was England's most prolific creator of stage music in the late 1700s. His comic opera "The Maid of the Mill" (1765) stayed in the repertory for nearly a century and some of its arias attained the status of popular songs. Arnold's 90 other operas and afterpieces (encore works) include "Tom Jones" (1769), "The Castle of Andalusia" (1782), "Turk and No Turk" (1785), and "The Mountaineers" (1795). He also wrote the dramatic oratorios "Saul" (1767), "The Prodigal Son" (1777), and "Elisha" (1795). Arnold was born in London, and received his musical education as a singer in the Chapel Royal. For 40 years he was such a ubiquitous figure in London's arts scene that one could scarcely spend a day in the city without hearing a note of his music. He was employed by the Covent Garden Opera from 1764 to 1775, proprietor of the Marylebone Gardens Concerts from 1769 to 1774, and music director of the Haymarket Theatre from 1776. In 1783 King George III appointed him Royal Court Composer. As a prominent member of London's Academy of Ancient Music Arnold was engaged in a long power struggle with his colleague Benjamin Cooke, whom he finally replaced as director in 1789; four years later he succeeded Cooke as organist of Westminster Abbey. He died in a domestic accident, falling off a stepladder while reaching for a book in his library. Robert Cooke, the son of his arch-rival, became the new Westminster organist. Today Arnold's compositions are rarely performed and historians believe his primary significance was as an editor. In 1787 he began publishing a monumental edition of Handel, which ran to 40 volumes and was unfinished at his death; this was the first attempt at collecting a composer's complete works. He also brought out an expanded edition of William Boyce's "Cathedral Music" (1790), an important anthology of English church music.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
  • Added: 22 Aug 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 21086949
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Samuel Arnold (10 Aug 1740–22 Oct 1802), Find A Grave Memorial no. 21086949, citing Westminster Abbey, Westminster, City of Westminster, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .