Unit 1.1

Music: Classical music


Internationally renowned composers

  • Thomas Tallis was an English composer. He is considered one of England’s greatest composers and is best known for his choral music. He composed during the 16th century.
  • William Byrd was an English composer of the 17th century. He wrote in many forms including different types of sacred and secular polyphony, keyboard, and consort music.
  • George Frideric Handel was a German, later British, Baroque composer. He composed 42 operas, 25 oratorios, more than 120 cantatas, trios and duets, numerous arias, chamber music, and a large number of ecumenical pieces, odes, serenatas, concerti Grossi and organ concertos. His most famous work, the oratorio Messiah with its “Hallelujah” chorus, is among the most popular works in choral music.
  • Edward Benjamin Britten was an English composer, conductor and pianist, in the 20th century. In 1945 he gained international fame by the opera Peter Grimes. In 1968 he won the prestigious Léonie Sonning Music Prize. He is considered to be the best composer of the 20th century in the United Kingdom.
  • Sir William Sterndale Bennett was an English composer, pianist, conductor and music educator. He had a big influence on English music both as a composer and teacher.

Internationally renowned classical music performers

Opera performers:

  • Clara Novell was a soprano singer in the 19th century. She is one of the most talented vocalists in opera and stage performances thanks to her pure style and soprano singing. She made her first successful concert when she was only fourteen.
  • Helen Lemmens-Sherrington was an English opera and concerto soprano singer in the 19th century. She made her debut in 1856. She was more focused on concert performances.
  • John Sims Reeves was a tenor opera, oratorio and ballad singer in the 19th century. He was well known for his ballad interpretations.
  • Charles Santley was a popular English opera and oratorio baritone singer in the 19th century. He led the cast for the first Wagner opera performance in London. He was also performing in North America.

Internationally renowned opera singers

  • Alan Oke is a British tenor. In 2016 he played the role of The Major in Elena Langer’s opera Figaro Gets a Divorce, at the Welsh National Opera. He lives in Edinburgh, Scotland.
  • Jill Gomez is Countess of Northesk, is a Trinidadian and British soprano. She enjoys an active career on the operatic stage and in the concert hall and has made many recordings.
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