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ABRAMS, HARRIET:

English soprano vocalist and composer; born 1760; died in the first half of the nineteenth century. She was the eldest of three sisters (Harriet, Theodosia, and Eliza), all excellent vocalists. Harriet herself was a pupil of Dr. Arne, and made her début at Drury Lane Theater, London, in her master's musical piece, "May Day," October 28, 1775. She and her sister Theodosia sang at the opening of the Concerts of Ancient Music in 1776. She sang also at the Handel Commemoration in Westminster Abbey in 1784 and at the principal London concerts for several years afterward, when she and her sisters retired into private life. Harriet Abrams composed several pleasing songs, two of which, "The Orphan's Prayer" and "Crazy Jane," aided by the impressive singing of her sisters, became very popular. She published, further, in 1787, a collection of Scotch songs harmonized for three voices, besides other pieces at later dates.

Bibliography:
  • Brown, Dictionary of Musicians, s.v.;
  • Grove, Dict. of Music and Musicians, 1890, vol. i.;
  • Champlin, Cyclopedia of Music and Musicians, i. 4, New York, 1893.
G. L.
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