Purcell (1659-1695) was born (and died) in Westminster, London,
England. As a child he was a chorister in the Chapel Royal, which was the group
of musicians, mainly choristers, which formed part of the Royal Household, who
organized church music for the King and Queen and the court.
he also worked in Westminster Abbey as an instrument tuner and music copier. In
1679 he was appointed organist of Westminster Abbey.
He wrote in the baroque manner, but with his very own personal style. He held
several important posts at the English court. His compositions include choral, keyboard and chamber works,
and songs. He also wrote several semi-operas, such as
Dido and Aeneas, which involved spoken sections mixed with sung sections. This
was probably performed at court for King Charles II. Appropriately, on his death
in 1695 he was buried in Westminster Abbey.