Profile of Henry Purcell


Around 1659, his father was a musician who belonged to the Chapel Royal.


London, England


November 21, 1695 in London

Also Known As:

He was called the "English Orpheus," one of the great composers of the Baroque period and one of the great English composers. He was also a chorister at the Chapel Royal and an organist of Westminster Abbey. In 1682, he became an organist in the Chapel Royal.

Type of Compositions:

He wrote among others, operas, incidental stage music, chamber music including suites and sonatas. church music and court music. Purcell was also a songwriter; he wrote over 100 songs.


His father was a musician. His brother, Daniel, was also a composer, chorister and organist. When Henry Purcell died, Daniel completed his unfinished compositions. Henry Purcell's son, Edward, also became a musician and Edward's son, Edward Henry, also became a musician.

Notable Works:

One of his most notable works is the opera "Dido and Aeneas" which he originally wrote for a girl's school situated in Chelsea. He also wrote four semi-operas namely; "Dioclesian," "King Arthur," "The Fairy Queen" and "The Indian Queen."

Interesting Facts:

Purcell wrote 6 odes for Queen Mary's birthday. When the Queen died in 1695, Purcell provided music for her funeral. For the coronation of James II, he wrote "My Heart Is Inditing." He also wrote 4 odes for St.

Cecilia's Day.

Music Sample:

Listen to Incidental Music from the "Fairy Queen" - Rondeau