Christopher Gibbons

(1615 - 1676)

English organist and composer. Second son of Orlando Gibbons, he sang as a boy in the Chapel Royal under Giles; probably also studied with his father, after whose death in 1625 he went to live with an uncle in Exeter. Succeeded Thomas Holmes as organist at Winchester Cathedral in1638; the Civil War, and subsequent suppression of church music, terminated this post in 1642. He lived and taught in London, 1651-60; collaborated with Locke on the masque Cupid and Deathin 1653 and was heard on the organ at Oxford in 1654. He became organist at the Chapel Royal and to King Charles II upon the Restoration in 1660, later also serving at Westminster Abbey until his death. A bribery scandal involving construction of an organ did not diminish his stature with the king, who nominated him for an Oxford doctorate in 1663. Known in his time primarily as a performer. His compositions include sacred works along with consort and keyboard music. Blow was among his pupils.

From the Manuscript of Christopher Gibbons' Cupid and Death

VIIA: Henry Purcell and his Contemporaries