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Tomkins, Thomas
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Biography
Thomas Tomkins

(Born; St Davids, 1572; Died; Martin Hussingtree, bur. 9 June 1656). Welsh composer. From a musical family, he claimed Byrd as his teacher. He divided his time between Worcester Cathedral (organist from 1596) and London, becoming a Gentleman in Ordinary of the Chapel Royal by 1620, assistant organist from 1621 and senior organist from 1625; that year he wrote music for Charles I's coronation. He left Worcester in 1654. A prolific and respected successor of Byrd, he composed church music, including over 100 anthems (Musica Deo sacra, 1668), madrigals (1622, among them When David heard, a moving, polyphonic setting of a powerful text), over 50 keyboard pieces and a few highly original fantasias, pavans and galliards for viol consort. His half-brothers John, Giles and Robert and his son Nathaniel were also musicians.
(c)Groves Dictionaries, MacMillan Publishers Limited, UK

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