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William Felton (Composer)

Born: 1713 - England
Died: December 6, 1769 - Hereford, England

The English composer, Rev. William Felton, studied at Cambridge, receiving B.A. in 1738 and M.A. in 1745. He was vicar-choral and sub-chanter of Hereford Cathedral in 1741, custos of the vicars-choral in 1769, and chaplain to the Princess-Dowager of Wales. He was distinguished in his day as a composer for, and performer on, the organ and harpsichord.

William Felton published three sets of concertos for those instruments in imitation of those of George Frideric Handel. Burney, in the life of G.F. Handel prefixed to his account of the Commemoration, relates (p. 32), on the authority of Abraham Brown, the violinist, a droll anecdote of Felton's unsuccessful attempt, through Brown, to procure the name of G.F. Handel as a subscriber to the second set of these concertos. Felon also published two or three sets of lessons for the same instruments.

William Felton was one of the stewards of the Meeting of the Three Choirs at Hereford 1744, and at Gloucester 1745. He was vicar of Norton Canon, from 1751 to 1769. Felton's Gavot was long highly popular; it was introduced into Ciampi's Bertoldo in 1762. He died suddenly and was buried in the vestibule of the Lady Chapel in Hereford Cathedral.

 

Source: Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1952 Edition; Author: William H. Husk; additions: D.N.B)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (July 2007)

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