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Henry Gadsby

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Name  Henry Gadsby

Henry Gadsby (1842–1907) was an English musician,



Born at Hackney on 15 December 1842, he was son of William Gadsby. From 1849 to 1858 he was a chorister boy at St Paul's Cathedral at the same time as Sir John Stainer. He learnt basic harmony under William Bayley, the choirmaster, but was otherwise self-taught. In 1863 he became a teacher of the piano, and Frederick Corder was one of his first pupils. Having also taught himself the organ, he became organist of St. Peter's Church, Brockley, holding this appointment till 1884.

Gadsby succeeded John Hullah as professor of harmony at Queen's College, London, and Sir William Cusins as professor of pianoforte there. In 1880 he was appointed one of the original professors (for harmony) at the Guildhall School of Music, where he taught for the rest of his life. A member of the Philharmonic Society, and other musical societies, and fellow of the College of Organists, he was a well-known figure in the musical world. He died on 11 November 1907 at 53 Clarendon Road, Putney, and was buried in Putney Vale cemetery. His widow died shortly after him, leaving two daughters.


His pupil Corder characterised Gadsby as "a typical Victorian composer, whose works were always well received and never heard a second time" in the Dictionary of National Biography. His published works include the following choral and orchestral cantatas: Psalm 130 (1862); Alice Brand (1870); The Lord of the Isles (Brighton Festival, 1879); Columbus (male voices, 1881); The Cyclops (male voices, 1883); music to Alcestis (1876) and to Tasso's Aminta (for Queen's College, 1898). Other instrumental works were a concert overture, Andromeda (1873), an organ concerto in F, and a string quartet.

Unpublished works include three other orchestral preludes: The Golden Legend, The Witches' Frolic, and The Forest of Arden. Part-songs, services, and anthems were printed, as well as A Treatise on Harmony (1883) and A Technical Method of Sight-singing (1897), which are text-books.


Henry Gadsby Wikipedia