Abell, John, Scottish countertenor, lutenist, and composer; b. Aberdeenshire, 1652; d. probably in Cambridge, after 1716. He was a chorister in the Chapel Royal in London, and about 1679 he also became a musician in the King’s Private Music. In 1684 he took his Mus.B. at Cambridge. A Catholic sympathizer, he left England after the 1688 revolution and traveled throughout Europe. In 1699 he returned to England, where he was successful mainly as a singer until 1716. He publ. the uninspired vols. A Collection of Songs, in Several Languages (1701), A Collection of Songs, in English (1701), and A Choice Collection of Italian Ayres (1703).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire