Festing, Michael Christian

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Festing, Michael Christian

Festing, Michael Christian, esteemed English violinist and composer; b. London, c. 1680; d. there, July 24, 1752. He received training from Richard Jones and Geminiani. In 1724 he made his first public appearance as a violinist in London, where he played in the orch. of the King’s Theatre (from 1727), and served as director of the orchs. of the Italian Opera (from 1737) and at Ranelagh Gardens (from 1742); he also was active as a chamber musician. In 1735 he was named Master of the King’s Musick. With Maurice Greene et al., he founded the Soc. of Musicians, a charitable organization, in 1738. His instrumental works were composed in the virtuoso manner of Geminiani.


INSTRUMENTAL (all publ. in London): 12 solos for Violin and Basso Continue (1730); 12 sonatas for 1 or 2 Recorders and Violin or Bass (1731); 12 concerti grossi (1734); 8 solos for Violin and Basso Continuo (1736); 8 concerti grossi (1739); 6 sonatas for 2 Violins and Bass (1742); 6 solos for Violin and Basso Continuo (1747); 6 solos for Violin and Basso Continuo (c. 1750); 6 concerti grossi (1756). VOCAL: Cantatas and songs.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire