Arnold, Samuel


English composer and vocalist. Born in London. His musical talent developed very early. He was educated in the Chapel Royal and by his twenty-third year he had made such progress that he was engaged as composer for the Covent Garden Theatre, where he brought out his first opera, The Maid of the Mill, in 1765. In 1769, he purchased Marylebone Gardens, where he gave dramatic and musical entertainments. Though at first successful, he finally lost money in this enterprise. In 1763 he received the degree of Doctor of Music from Oxford University. In 1783 he succeeded Doctor Nares, as organist and composer to the Chapel Royal, and became organist at Westminster Abbey in 1793. In 1786 he proposed bringing out a complete edition of Handel's works, but was unable to complete it. Arnold wrote forty-three operas, musical after-pieces and pantomimes. He also produced a number of oratorios, the best of which was The Prodigal Son, others being The Resurrection, Abimelech, The Cure of Saul, and Elisha. His most important work was his Cathedral Music, which is a collection in score of the most valuable and useful cathedral services by the English composers of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. Arnold died, in 1802, from injuries received in a fall.