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PARISH-ALVARS, ELIAS:

English harpist and composer; born at Teignmouth, England, Feb. 28, 1810; died at Vienna Jan. 25, 1849; a pupil of Dizi, Labarre, and Bochsa. In 1831 he visited Germany and played at Bremen, Hamburg, and other cities with great success. He undertook an Italian tour in 1834, and two years later went to Vienna, where he remained until 1838. Between 1838 and 1842 he made a journey to the Orient, where he collected many Eastern melodies. On his return he gave a series of concerts at Leipsic, Berlin, Frankfort, Dresden, and Prague. After an enthusiastic reception at Naples, he visited Mendelssohn at Leipsic (1846), and the influence of the latter is said to be evident in Elias' subsequent compositions. In 1847 he settled at Vienna, where some time afterward he received the title of chamber harpist to the emperor. One of the greatest harpists of his day, Parish-Alvars was also an excellent composer. Among his most popular works are the following: "Voyage d'un Harpiste en Orient," op. 62 (Turkish, Greek, and other melodies for solo harp); march for harp, op. 67; concerto for harp and orchestra, in G minor, op. 81; concerto in E♭, op. 98; concertino for two harps with orchestra; besides fantasias, romances, and characteristic pieces for harp with orchestra or pianoforte.

Bibliography:
  • J. D. Brown and S. S. Stratton, British Musical Biography;
  • Baker, Biographical Dictionary of Musicians;
  • Grove, Dictionary of Music and Musicians.
J. J. So.
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