Byrd, William

Lincoln c. 1543 - Stondon Massey 1623




Composer, chorister, and one of the best English organists. Though Catholic he was treated with indulgence by Queen Elizabeth for his musical merits. He retired to Stondon Place at the age of 50 where he spent in comfort the last period of his life.


His musical production is extremely large and mostly of sacred genre but it also includes sonatas, fantasias and vocal and instrumental mottetti. The most important composer of Elizabethian period, he is author of a hundred pieces for virginal and over 200 religious and profane compositions in English and Latin. His compositions are characterized by a bright polyphonic technique joined to the Italian Baroque Style.


The Kunst der Fuge Biographies of Composers: Byrd by Nausica Th. Classical.
Contribution for the translation: B.K. Drabsch. Special thank to F. Vettori for the collaboration.
Credits: Enciclopaedie Federico Motta editore; L'Enciclopedia di Repubblica, M. Mila., 2003. All rights reserved.