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Baroque Music in Salisbury

James Harris 1709-1780

James Harris was educated in Salisbury and later studied Law. On the death of his father, in 1733, he inherited a fortune and Malmesbury House in Salisbury Close.

In 1761 he became member of Parliament for Christchurch and held this position until his death. Harris was a great lover of music and a friend of Handel. He organised and directed regular subscription concerts and music festivals in Salisbury for nearly fifty years. Salisbury Baroque will be organising concerts that revive this tradition.

Georg Frederic Handel 1685-1759

In 1739 the world famous Georg Frederic Handel was introduced to Salisbury society by James Harris.

Harris's letters confirm that during this visit Handel attended a concert at Malmesbury House, believed to have taken place in the small room over St. Ann's Gate. This was Handel's first performance in Salisbury.

Detail descriptions of performances of Handel’s compositions both in London and in Salisbury are well documented in the letters of James Harris which offer an invaluable insight into to music making of the period.

John Marsh 1752-1828

John Marsh was born in Dorking. He was a man of private means and, like James Harris, had a passion for music.

During his life he was resident in Gosport, Romsey, Salisbury and Canterbury before settling in Chichester.

He was author of books and articles on music, geometry, astronomy and religion, but his greatest achievement was in maintaining his diaries, which vividly recount his daily activities from birth to death, and paint a revealing portrait of provincial life at the time.

Like Harris, he also arranged subscription concerts but also wrote some interesting early Classical Symphonies which the Salisbury Baroque will be including in future programmes.

Salisbury Baroque's next orchestral concert is a programme led by Julia Bishop, at 4pm on Sunday 3rd March 2023 at St. Martin's Church, Salisbury.

Full details and details of all our concerts are on the Concerts & Tickets page.

Tickets for Salisbury Baroque's concerts are available online.  For full details, please see the Concerts & Tickets page.

Salisbury Baroque is a member and supporter of Music In Salisbury which maintains a diary of musical events in Salisbury.

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