Ferrabosco, Alfonso (II)


Italian composer, a son of Alfonso Ferrabosco, the elder. He was born at Greenwich, England, where his father had settled, and was trained in music at the expense of the Queen, in whose service his father had been. After the accession of James I., Ferrabosco the younger became one of the King's musicians for the violin. He was an extremely brilliant composer and was among the first to set lessons for the viol in imitation of the old English lute and bandora. He composed the music to some of Ben Jonson's masques and Jonson wrote a commendatory verse to some of Ferrabosco's lessons for one, two and three viols, published in London in 1609, A close friendship existed between the musician and poet. In 1604 Ferrabosco was appointed musicmaster for life to Henry, Prince of Wales, and a year later composer of the King's music. To the Prince he dedicated in 1609 his volumes of "Ayres." Besides the works mentioned he wrote Fancies for viols, and contributed to Leighton's " Teares." He died at Greenwich, where he was born.