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Stanley, Charles John

1713-1786

 

Remarkable English organist and composer, who became blind by an accident when only two years of age, and who, from his earliest years, showed great musical talent. At seven years of age he began his musical studies and his talents developed rapidly under his teachers, J. Reading and Greene. At the age of eleven he was appointed organist at All Hallows Church, Bread Street, London, and two years later was organist at St. Andrew's Church, Holborn. Stanley received the degree of Bachelor of Music from Oxford in 1729; in 1734 was one of the organists of the Temple Church, London, and master of the King's band in 1779. He also associated himself with J. C. Smith, and after his death with Thomas Linley, in carrying on the oratorio performances formerly conducted by Handel. He composed, among other works, thirty-six organ voluntaries; the oratorios, Jephthah, Zimri, Fall of Egypt, and Arcadia, or the Shepherd's Wedding; twelve cantatas for voice, harpsichord and violin; and eight solos for violin and harpsichord.