Saturday, 9 July 2011

When David Heard (Weelkes)



Thomas Weelkes (c.1573 – 1623) was a composer and organist from the village of Elsted in Sussex. He became organist of Winchester College and in 1598, moved to Chichester Cathedral. His works are chiefly vocal, and include madrigals, anthems and services.

It has been suggested that his father was John Weeke, rector of Elsted, although there is no documentary evidence of the relationship. In 1597 his first volume of madrigals was published, the preface noting that he was a very young man when they were written; this helps to fix the date of his birth to somewhere in the middle of the 1570s.

During his Winchester period, Weelkes composed a further two volumes of madrigals (1598, 1600). He obtained his B. Mus. Degree from New College, Oxford in 1602, and moved to Chichester to take up the position of organist and informator choristarum (instructor of the choristers) at the Cathedral at some time between October 1601 and October 1602.