Bishop, Sir Henry (Rowley)

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Bishop, Sir Henry (Rowley)

Bishop, Sir Henry (Rowley), English conductor and composer; b. London, Nov. 18, 1786; d. there, April 30, 1855. He studied harmony with Francesco Bianchi. From 1810 to 1824 he was music director at London’s Covent Garden. In 1813 he also helped to organize the Phil. Soc. of London, with which he appeared as a conductor. In 1824 he became music director at London’s Drury Lane Theatre, where he brought out his most ambitious operatic effort, Aladdin (April 29, 1826), which proved a failure. From 1830 to 1840 he was music director at London’s Vauxhall Gardens, and then again at Covent Garden in 1840^41; also conducted London’s Concerts of Antient Music (1840–48). He was prof. of music at the univs. of Edinburgh (1841–43) and Oxford (from 1848), where he was made B.Mus. (1839) and D.Mus. (1853). In 1842 he was knighted. He was married to the singers Sarah Lyon (1809) and Anna Bishop (1831), but the latter left him to become intimate with the harpist Bochsa. Bishop’s various stage pieces, most of which were merely incidental settings or adaptations to spoken plays, were undistinguished. He remains best known for his famous song “Home, Sweet Home” from his stage piece Clari, or The Maid of Milan (London, May 3, 1823), and for several glees.

Bibliography

R. Northcott, The Life of Sir H.R. B. (London, 1920).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire