Greatorex, Thomas


English organist, composer and conductor; born at North Wingfield, Derbyshire. He studied with Dr. Benjamin Cooke, and in 1774 found a helpful patron in the Earl of Sandwich, who invited him to stay at his house near Huntingdon, where the young musician had opportunities of singing in oratorios and later in the Concert of Ancient Music. From about 1781 to 1784 he was organist of Carlisle Cathedral, and next lived in Newcastle, teaching till 1786. After a tour through Italy and Holland he settled in London, where he became prominent as a teacher of music. In 1793 he succeeded Bates as conductor of the Concerts of Ancient Music, and in 1801 co-operated in the revival of the Vocal concerts. In 1819 he was appointed organist at Westminster Abbey, and for a number of years was conductor of the musical festivals at Birmingham and other towns. He was the foremost English organist of his day, and second only to Sir George Smart as conductor. He composed a few glees, psalms and chants, and arranged a number of selections for orchestra, the latter being unpublished.