Parish-Alvars, Elias



Famous English harp virtuoso and an excellent composer for his instrument. He was born of Jewish parents at Teignmouth and the date of his birth is uncertain, sometimes being given as 1810 or 1816. He took lessons from Boscha, Dizi and Labarre, and was also a proficient pianist. On his many journeys he visited Germany, Italy and England, finally settling at Vienna in 1847, after spending four years in the Orient. In Vienna he was made chamber-musician to the Emperor. As a composer he was greatly improved by contact with Mendelssohn on a visit to Leipsic. His works embrace two concertos for harp and orchestra, and one for two harps and orchestra; romances; characterpieces; and melodies, notably, Voyage d'un Harpiste en Orient, a collection of airs and melodies popular in Turkey and Asia Minor, for solo harp; a march; and fantasies, some for harp and piano and some for the harp alone.