Orlando Gibbons
Orlando Gibbons

Orlando Gibbons Biography (Wikipedia)

Orlando Gibbons ( (listen); baptised 25 December 1583 – 5 June 1625) was an English composer, virginalist and organist of the Elizabethan (late Tudor) and early Jacobean periods. Due to his sudden and early death, Gibbons' output was not as large as that of his older contemporary William Byrd, but he still managed to produce various secular and sacred polyphonic vocal works, including consort songs, services, motets, more than 40 full anthems and verse anthems, a set of 20 madrigals as well as at least 20 keyboard works and various instrumental ensemble pieces including nearly 30 fantasies for viols. He is well known for the 5-part verse anthem This Is the Record of John, the 8-part full anthem O Clap Your Hands Together, 2 settings of Evensong and what is often thought to be the best known English madrigal: The Silver Swan.

Born in Oxfordshire, Gibbons was probably the 8th of 10 children and born into a musical family where his father, William Gibbons, was a wind player, his children being expected to follow his footsteps in the trade. It is not known with whom he studied composition, although it may have been with an older brother or his father. Gibbons was certainly acquainted with William Byrd and John Bull, and the three later collectively published the first printed book of keyboard music, Parthenia. Since Bull was a student of Byrd it is possible that Gibbons was as well; however there is no supporting evidence of this.

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