Wednesday, August 26, 2009

William DeFesch

William DeFesch (Willem de Fesch) was a Dutch violinist, cellist, organist, composer, and teacher born on August 26, 1687 (JS Bach was 2 years old.) Little is known of him other than that he composed Oratorios for the London public at the same time as Handel. At age 21 (1708), he was concertmaster of the civic theatre orchestra in Amsterdam. He was choirmaster in Antwerp from 1725 to 1731. He then went to England in 1732. Handel was already there. In fact, DeFesch was Handel’s concertmaster. DeFesch composed lots of chamber music, concertos, and two Oratorios (one of which is lost.) You can hear some of his music on YouTube. According to some sources, DeFesch died on January 3, 1761, at age 73. According to others, he died four years earlier, in 1757. 

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