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Maurice Greene

born: 12 August 1696
died: 1 December 1755
country: United Kingdom

The name Maurice Greene is not very prominent today (though most cathedral choirs still have his anthem Lord, let me know mine end in their repertories) but he was one of the most important English-born musicians active in London during Handel’s time. He received his early training while a chorister at St Paul’s Cathedral and, after two appointments as organist to churches in the City of London, he became the organist and choirmaster at the cathedral in 1718. On the death of William Croft in June 1727 he obtained the senior positions of Organist and Composer to the Chapel Royal, and in 1735 he succeeded John Eccles as Master of the King’s Music, thereby gaining all the major musical posts in the English court establishment. In June 1730 he received the degree of Doctor of Music at Cambridge, offering as his doctoral exercise his fine setting of a revised version of Alexander Pope’s Ode for St Cecilia’s Day, the performance of which also served to celebrate the opening of the new Senate House designed by the architect James Gibbs (1682–1754).

from notes by Anthony Hicks © 2002

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