Walmisley, Thomas Atwood



Eminent English lecturer, organist and composer, admirer and exponent of Bach. He was born in London; son of Thomas Forbes Walmisley. Atwood, who was his godfather, in response to his father's earnest desire gave him instruction in music, in which he made rapid progress. In 1830 he became organist of Croydon Church, three years later was elected organist of Trinity and St. John's Colleges at Cambridge, at the time received the degree of Bachelor of Music. In 1836 he became professor of music at Cambridge, in 1838 received the degree of Bachelor of Arts, that of Master of Arts in 1841, the degree of Doctor of Music in 1848. A man of broad culture and rare knowledge of musical history, he was noted for literary excellence as well as true musicianship. He was acquainted with Bach to a degree unusual with contemporary musicians of England, and spoke to his classes of Bach in terms of superlative praise. As cathedral organist Walmisley was greatly esteemed; of his work as composer, mention should be made of a collection of anthems and services; a choral hymn; songs; trios; three installation odes, the third in honor of the installation of the Prince Consort as Chancellor of the University, the music to words written by Wordsworth.