English composer, organist, choral conductor and enemy of equal temperament, Samuel Sebastian Wesley was born in London on 14 August 1810, son of composer Samuel Wesley and grandson of methodist minister and hymn writer Charles Wesley.
As a boy, Samuel Sebastian sang as one of the Children of the Chapel Royal. From 1826 he began playing the organ in various London churches, and by 1832 he became organist of Hereford Cathedral (where he eloped with the daughter of the Dean), and later worked at Exeter Cathedral, Leeds Parish Church, Winchester Cathedral and Gloucester Cathedral, becoming one of the country's leading choirmasters and organists. Almost all his complex, theatrical music was written for the Church of England.
He died in Gloucester on 19 April 1876, aged sixty-five, and was buried in Exeter.
CD Spotlight. Varied Programme - The Usher Hall organ impresses Gerald Fenech. 'John Kitchen oozes out every sound possible from this monster of an organ ...'
CD Spotlight. A Controversial Figure - Choral works by Samuel Sebastian Wesley, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Soloists and choral singing are of the utmost quality ...'
DVD Spotlight. Dignity and Impudence - A recital on Exeter Cathedral's organ, enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. '... Millington on fine form ...'
Ensemble. Sing ye to the Lord - Roderic Dunnett was at the 2009 Hereford Three Choirs Festival