Attwood, Thomas, English organist and composer; b. London (baptized), Nov. 23, 1765; d. there, March 24, 1838. At 9, he became a chorister at the Chapel Royal. In 1781 he was made one of the Pages of the Presence to the Prince of Wales, who made it possible for him to study in Naples with Felipe Cinque and Gaetano Latilla (1783–85). He then went to Vienna, where he received composition lessons from Mozart. In 1787 he returned to England and resumed his court position. He was made music teacher to the Duchess of York in 1791 and to the Princess of Wales in 1795. In 1796 he became organist at St. Paul’s Cathedral and composer at the Chapel Royal. In 1813 he helped to organize the Phil. Soc. of London, with which he appeared as a conductor. When the Royal Academy of Music in London was organized in 1823, he was made a prof. In 1825 he became musician-in-ordinary to the king. He was named organist of the Chapel Royal in 1836. Mendelssohn became his close friend, and among his students were his godson, Thomas Attwood Walmisley, George Bridgetower, and Cipriani Potter. As a composer, he was profoundly influenced by his association with Mozart. His output includes music for some 30 stage works, several instrumental pieces, much vocal music, including the fine coronation anthems I was glad (1821) and O Lord, grant the king a long life (1831), a Service in F major, songs, and glees. Walmisley ed. Services and Anthems Composed by T. A. (London, 1852).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire
John F. C. Harrison