Henry Purcell

(1659-1695)


Country: England

The English composer, Henry Purcell, contributed a great deal to the development of English baroque music. Purcell lost his father at the age of six, and was placed under the guardianship of his uncle Thomas, who loved and nurtured him like a son. Thomas was a gentleman of His Majesty's Chapel and thus was able to arrange for Henry to be a chorister.

The young Purcell was exposed to the semi-operas of Matthew Locke, and this family friend had a favorable influence on Purcell's musical education. Purcell continued as a chorister in the Chapel Royal until 1673, when his voice broke, he subsequently became an assistant to the organ-builder John Hingston.

Purcell went on to compose many notable operatic works including Dido and Aeneas (1688), as well semi-operas such as Dioclesian (1690), King Arthur (1691), and The Fairy-Queen (1692).

Henry Purcell is buried in Westminster Abbey - next to the organ - and a bronze monument, sculpted by Glynn Williams, was erected nearby in Victoria Street in 1994.

Free sheet music by Henry Purcell

Minuet in G major

Chaconne

Cebell

Toccata

Prelude

Ground

Prelude in F

Rigadoon