Orlando Gibbons Edit Profile
A chorister at King's College, Cambridge, in 1596. Orlando entered the university as a sizar in 1598 and achieved the degree of Bachelor of Music in 1606.
King James I appointed him a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal, where he served as an organist from at least 1615 until his death. He was also organist at Westminster abbey from 1623.
Gibbons's madrigals favoured the serious approach of the moralistic ‘Silver Swan’: ‘More geese than swans now live, more fools than wise. ’ He also held positions as keyboard player in the privy chamber of the court of Prince Charles (later King Charles I), and organist at Westminster Abbey.
Gibbons's instrumental fantasias display the same skilful counterpoint, and in his day he was chiefly famous as an organist and virginalist, being described by one listener as ‘the best finger of that age’.
He wrote music for the Anglican Service, one book of madrigals (1612), some fifty brilliant keyboard pieces, six of which were printed in the famous Parthenia (1611), and many works for string ensembles.
In 1606 he married Elizabeth Patten, daughter of a Yeoman of the Vestry. He had seven children.