Hook, James, English organist and composer; b. Norwich, June 3, 1746; d. Boulogne, 1827. He exhibited a precocious talent as a boy, and took lessons with Garland, organist of the Norwich Cathedral. In 1764 he went to London, where he played organ at various entertainment places. In 1765 he won a prize for his Parting Catch. He was subsequently organist and music director at Marylebone Gardens (1769–73) and at Vaux-hall Gardens (1774–1820). His last position was at St. John’s, Horsleydown. He publ, a manual, Guida di musica, in 2 parts (1785, 1794).
dramatic: Theater (all 1st perf. in London): Cupid’s Revenge (June 12, 1772); The Lady of the Manor (Nov. 23, 1778); The Fair Peruvian (March 8, 1786); Jack of Newbury (May 6, 1795); Wilmore Castle (Oct. 21, 1800); The Soldier’s Return (April 23, 1805); The Invisible Girl (April 28, 1806); The Fortress (July 16, 1807); Safe and Sound (August 28, 1809); etc. OTHER: Many oratorios and odes; concertos for harpsichord; sonatas, sonatinas, and divertimentos for piano; songs.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire