Bridge, Sir John Frederick


Noted English organist and composer. He entered the Rochester Cathedral as a choir boy, at the age of six, where he remained until he was fifteen. In 1865 he studied with John Hopkins and was assistant organist at the Rochester Cathedral. From 1865 to 1869 he was organist at Trinity Church, Windsor, studying with Sir John Goss, and taking the degree of Bachelor of Music at Oxford, in 1868. Bridge became organist of Manchester Cathedral in 1869. This position he held for six years and was at the same time professor of harmony at Owens' College, also taking the degree of Doctor of Music at Oxford in 1874. In 1875 he was appointed organist at Westminster Abbey, in which capacity he arranged all the music and composed an anthem for Queen Victoria's jubilee service in 1887, and for the coronation of King Edward VII. in 1902. At the jubilee service in 1887 he received a medal from the Queen and at the diamond jubilee in 1897 he was knighted and received the clasp to the medal. At the coronation of Edward VII. he was made a member of the Victorian order. In 1890 he was elected Gresham professor of music in the Royal Academy of Music He succeeded Barnby, in 1896, as conductor of the Royal Choral Society, and since 1902 he has been King Edward professor of music at London University. Among his compositions are the cantatas, Boadicea and Callirrhoe; the oratorios, Mount Moriah and Repentence of Ninevah; the motet, Hymn to the Creator; the concert overture for orchestra, Morte d'Arthur; Rock of Ages for barytone solo, chorus and orchestra; settings for Kipling's poems, The Flag of England and The Ballad of Camperdown; a dramatic piece, The Forging of the Anchor; and two choral ballads, The Festival and Inchcape Rock; besides anthems, church services, hymns, part-songs and organ music. Bridge has also edited a number of hymn-books and has published primers on counterpoint, double-counterpoint, canon and organ accompaniment.