Composer. He was called "The Melancholy Madrigalist" for the haunting, bittersweet quality of his vocal works. Born in London, he turned to composition after failing to secure a position at Queen Elizabeth's court, possibly because he was Catholic, but probably due to a difficult personality. He served as a court musician to Christian IV of Denmark from 1598 to 1606, when gambling debts forced him to return to England. Dowland's four collections of lute songs, published between 1597 and 1612, were hugely popular and spread his fame all over Europe. Among his "hits" were "Flow My Tears", "Awake, Sweet Love", "Fine Knacks for Ladies", "Sweet, Stay Awhile", and "In Darkness Let Me Dwell". He also published an exceptional book of instrumental pieces, "Lachrimae, or Seven Tears" (1604), scored for a sextet of Renaissance instruments. In 1612 Dowland was finally appointed Royal Musician by King James I and around 1622 was awarded an honorary doctorate from Cambridge. He was buried in the churchyard of St. Ann's, Blackfriars. The church was destroyed in the Great London Fire of 1666; St. Ann's was not rebuilt, but the churchyard still exists.
Bio by: Bobb Edwards