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Parke, family of English musicians:

(1) William Thomas Parke, oboist and composer; b. London, 1762; d. there, Aug. 26, 1847. He began flute studies at age 10 and oboe training at 11 with his brother. When he was 13 he began piano lessons with Charles Rousseau Burney, and later took composition lessons with Baumgarten. He was only 14 when he began to play the viola at Vauxhall Gardens and at Drury Lane. In 1783 he was made 1st oboist at Covent Garden. With his brother, he was among the musicians who played in Haydn’s concerts at the Hanover Square Rooms in London. He publ. the valuable Musical Memoirs (London, 1830). Among his works were pieces for the theater, oboe concertos, and many songs.

(2) John Parke, oboist, brother of the preceding; b. London, 1745; d. there, Aug. 2, 1829. After studying with Simpson, he was active as an oboist in various theater orchs. and gave concerts in London.

(3) Maria Hester Park(e), singer, pianist, and composer, daughter of (1) William Thomas Parke; b. London, 1775; d. there, Aug. 15, 1822. She studied with her father and then became well known as a concert singer. Among her works were a Concerto for Piano or Harpsichord and Strings (London, c. 1792), 3 sonatas for Piano or Harpsichord (c. 1795–96), 2 sonatas for Piano and Violin Accompaniment (c. 1801), and a set of glees (c. 1790).

—Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire