A CHRONOLOGICAL VIEW OF WESTERN MUSIC HISTORY IN THE CONTEXT OF WORLD EVENTS

Charles Avison

Birth icon
February 16, 1709: Charles Avison is baptized in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, United Kingdom of Great Britain.  He is the fifth of nine children born to Richard Avison, a musician, and his wife Anne.
Event icon
December 6, 1752: A new concert series by John Garth and Charles Avison (43) opens in Durham. The Dean of the Cathedral, Spencer Cowper, refuses to attend, feeling that this series is in competition with the one sponsored by the Cathedral. The new series will succeed and a major rivalry between the two will grow.
Event icon
February 22, 1753: Charles Avison (44) dates his A Reply to the Author of Remarks On the Essay on Musical Expression. William Hayes, a professor at Oxford University, strongly criticized Avison’s less than laudatory remarks about Handel (67) in his Essay, and his preference for church music of the Italian school rather than the English. Avsion calls Hayes a “tasteless pedant.” Sales of the original Essay increase.
Event icon
June 4, 1760: A new type of concert takes place in Newcastle, in pleasure gardens just outside of town, to celebrate the birthday of the Prince of Wales. Charles Avison (51) objects to these concerts strongly.
Performance icon
September 22, 1761: George III is crowned King of Great Britain in Westminster Abbey. For the occasion, William Boyce (50) writes eight new anthems, including Behold O God our defender, Come Holy Ghost, Let My Prayer Come Up, Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem, The King Shall Rejoice (full), The Lord is a sun, I was glad and My heart is inditing, all directed by the composer. The King Shall be Joyful in thy Strength, by Charles Avison (52), an anthem derived from the music of Benedetto Marcello, is also performed for the first time.
Performance icon
April 15, 1763: Ruth, an oratorio by Charles Avison (54) and Felice Giardini, is performed for the first time, in Newcastle.
Event icon
September 14, 1765: A letter from Charles Avison (56) is printed in the Newcastle Chronicle. He attacks a pamphlet which recently attacked him, The Will of a Certain Northern Vicar.
Death icon
October 15, 1766: Catherine Avison, the wife of Charles Avison (57), dies in Newcastle at the age of 53, probably of tuberculosis.
Event icon
June 24, 1767: Charles Avison (58) draws up his will in Newcastle. He has become quite wealthy, and divides his holdings among his three children.
Death icon
May 10, 1770: Charles Avison dies in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, United Kingdom, aged 61 years, two months and 24 days. (This could be 9 May)
Event icon
May 12, 1770: The mortal remains of Charles Avison are laid to rest in St. Andrew’s Churchyard, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, next to those of his wife. The Newcastle Courant writes, “he was as much valued for the amiableness of his private character as admired for his skill in the profession, and for his excellent compositions.” (Southey, Maddison, Hughes, 108)