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March 13 , 2009

Musical Visitors to Britain


Britain has attracted many musical visitors to its shores. A varied and often eccentric collection of individuals, some were invited by royalty with musical tastes, some were refugees from religious or political oppression, some were spies, and others came to escape debt or even charges of murder.

This book paints a broad picture of the changing nature of musical life in Britain over the centuries, through the eyes and ears of foreign musicians. After considering three of the eighteenth century’s greatest musical figures, the authors consider the rise of the celebrity composer in the nineteenth century, and go on to consider the influence of new forms of transport which allowed travel more freely from the Continent and the USA.

Musical Visitors to Britain also charts the new opportunities presented by the opening of public halls, the growth of music festivals, and the regular influx of composers in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, ending with the impact of new musical forms such as jazz.

As much a social as a musical history of Britain, this book will be of interest to anyone studying or working in these fields, as well as to general readers who want to discover more about our musical heritage.

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