John Banister

(c. 1625—1679) violinist and composer

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(b London, c.1625; d London, 3 Oct. 1679). English instrumentalist, composer, and impresario. The son of a London wait, he joined the King's Musick as a violinist in 1660, and two years later he became leader of the royal band of 24 Violins. He was demoted for insolence and financial irregularities in 1667 but continued to play in the band while extending his outside engagements. He wrote incidental music for a number of plays performed in London in the 1660s and 70s, but is chiefly remembered as the promoter of the first regular series of public concerts to be held in England (1672–9). He was buried in Westminster Abbey.

From The Oxford Companion to Music in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Music.

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