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About The John Wilson Orchestra

John Wilson was a renowned lutenist considered by many to be the best in England during his time. Interesting, however, is not the import of lute music which he did not compose, but rather, his songs. In service Wilson was a city wait, a member of the King's Musick, a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal, and a professor of music at Oxford having earlier received his Doctorate at that univeristy. Though he wrote theorbo pieces in a collection dated from 1656 in prelude-like fashion and in all major and minor keys, Wilson's hallmark pieces remain his songs. All of the songs which Wilson composed for plays betrween 1614 and 1623 are extant including a song in a performance of "Much Ado About Nothing". Many of his songs, which were written to have a great deal of popular appeal, were contained in his collection "Cheerful Ayres or Ballads." ~ Keith Johnson