Thomas Augustine Arne (March 12, 1710 - March 5, 1778) was an English composer. Best known for the patriotic "Rule, Britannia!", Arne was born in the Covent Garden area of London; his father and grandfather were upholsterers. He was educated at Eton College. A chance meeting with composer Michael Christian Festing would become key as Festing would pursuade the elder Arne to allow his son to pursue a career in music. Arne's sister, Susannah Maria Arne, was a famous contralto, who performed in some of his works, including his first opera, Rosamund. They and their brother Richard would often perform Arne's works together.
Thomas Arne was a Freemason and active in the organisation which has long been centred around the Covent Garden area of London, of which Arne was a native.
On 15 March 1737, Arne married singer Cecilia Young, whose sister, Isabella was the wife of John Frederick Lampe. Arne's operas and masques became very popular, and he received the patronage of Frederick, Prince of Wales, at whose country home, Cliveden, the Masque of Alfred, featuring "Rule Britannia", was debuted.
In 1750, after an argument with David Garrick, Susannah left Drury Lane for Covent Garden Theatre, and Thomas followed. In 1755, he separated from Cecilia, who, he alleged, was mentally ill. He began a relationship with one of his pupils, Charlotte Brent, a soprano and former child prodigy; she later married a violinist. In 1777, shortly before his death, Arne and his wife were reconciled. They had one son, Michael Arne. He is buried at St Paul's, Covent Garden, London.
performed on the original Reuter opus #822 console & pipe organ, August 8, 2005
The original 822's blower was in use at this time.
For an enlarged photo of the original console click here.
return to main MP3 Audio page.
Return to Reuter822.com mainpage