DOWLAND, John

(1563-1626)
John Dowland was the foremost composer of English lute music. From an artisan family, the seventeen-year-old Dowland went to Paris in the service of the ambassador to France, Sir Henry Cobham, possibly in order to study music. He apparently married young—his son Robert, also a musician, was born about 1586—but little is known about his wife or other children. In 1588 Dowland earned his bachelor's degree in music from Oxford (on the same day as Thomas Morley*) and was playing music at court by 1590. In 1594 he applied without success for a position as one of Queen Elizabeth's* musicians and then set off on a European tour. From the Continent he wrote to Elizabeth's secretary, Sir Robert Cecil, claiming to have been converted to Catholicism in his youth in France (influenced by "these most wicked priests and Jesuits") and offering to return to the true religion of Her Majesty. As his first two European hosts were staunch Protestants, as was his son's godfather Sir Robert Sidney, Dowland's supposed conversion from Catholicism may have been a ploy to attain Eliza­beth's favor. In 1597 Dowland published the first of his several collections of lute music, The First Booke of Songs, and the following year he was appointed lutenist at the court of Christian IV of Denmark. My Observations and Direc­tions Concerning the Art of Lute-Playing was published in 1604. His other publications were The Second Booke of Songs (1600), The Third and Last Booke of Songs (1603), Lachrimae or Seaven Teares (1604), and A Pilgrimes Solace (1612). From 1606 he was given various court appointments in England. Con­sidered proud, irritable, and melancholic, Dowland was admired by Thomas Campion.* Dowland's lute music has been much performed and recorded in the twentieth century, and several pieces were adapted by Benjamin Britten.
Bibliography
D. Poulton, John Dowland: His Life and Works, 1972.
Jean Graham

Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary. . 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dowland, John — born 1562/63, Westminster, London, Eng. died Jan. 21, 1626, London English composer and lutenist. Educated at Oxford, he was refused a court position in 1594 and, believing his adoptive Catholicism had been the cause, he left for the continent.… …   Universalium

  • Dowland, John — (1562 1626)    Dowland and Thomas Campion rank as the leading English composers of songs for the lute. Dowland is noted for his subtle melody and for the verse that he wrote for the vocal part of the performance. His air Flow, My Tears was his… …   Historical Dictionary of Renaissance

  • Dowland, John — (1562/63, Westminster, Londres, Inglaterra–21 ene. 1626, Londres). Compositor y laudista inglés. Educado en Oxford, en 1594 se le negó un cargo en la corte y, creyendo que la causa era su catolicismo adoptivo, emigró a Europa continental. Ahí… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Dowland, John — (1563 1626)    It is unknown whether this composer, virtuoso lutenist, and skilled singer one of the most famous musicians of his time, with a music degree from Oxford University in 1588 was English or Irish. He is known to have gone to Paris in… …   British and Irish poets

  • John Dowland — (* 1563 möglicherweise in London[1]; begraben 20. Februar 1626 in St Anne, Blackfriars, London) war ein englischer Komponist des elisabethanischen Zeitalters. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Werk …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • John Dowland — était un compositeur et luthiste né en Angleterre ou en Irlande en 1563 et mort le 20 février 1626. Sommaire 1 Biographie 2 Œuvre 3 Notes et références …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Dowland — John Dowland John Dowland était un compositeur et luthiste né en Angleterre ou en Irlande en 1563 et mort le 20 février 1626. Sommaire 1 Biographie 2 Œuvre 3 Notes et références …   Wikipédia en Français

  • John Dowland — (1563 – 20 de febrero de 1626) fue un compositor y laudista inglés, uno de los músicos más famosos de su época. Se conoce muy poco de la vida temprana de Dowland, pero generalmente se admite que nació en Londres o posiblemente Dublín. Se sabe que …   Wikipedia Español

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