John and William Mahon, the earliest British clarinet soloists

Rice, A. R. and Crisp, C. J. (2021) John and William Mahon, the earliest British clarinet soloists. Royal Musical Association Research Chronicle. pp. 1-30. ISSN 2167-4027 (In Press)

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Abstract

Over the course of a playing career that spanned roughly fifty years, John Mahon (pronounced M’hone) introduced and popularized the clarinet as a solo and chamber instrument throughout Britain. As well as performing extensively in London, Mahon also travelled to many provincial towns and cities, bringing both the clarinet and his musical talents to the attention of audiences. This article presents biographies of John and William Mahon, and information on the Mahon family, many of whom were outstanding musicians.

Like several musicians of the late eighteenth century, John Mahon was active as a military musician, likely beginning as a youth and extending to about 1781. By this time, he was actively performing in London orchestras during their regular seasons and continued to augment his income by travelling to various provincial towns to play in concerts and music festivals, over 800 of which are documented in newspaper advertisements and other published sources. His playing was of a high standard and he achieved wide recognition as a clarinettist. The article also discusses John Mahon as a military band musician; as an orchestral musician; as a soloist, accompanist and chamber musician with reference to contemporary reviews; Mahon’s published music and clarinet tutor; illustrations of clarinets and a basset horn that he
would have played during his career; Mahon as a teacher; later life; and influence and legacy. This is followed by a section on William Mahon’s concerts and reviews, and a conclusion.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
M Music and Books on Music > ML Literature of music
M Music and Books on Music > MT Musical instruction and study
Divisions: Academic Areas > Conservatoire
Depositing User: Catherine Crisp
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2022 09:01
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2022 14:13
URI: https://eprints.chi.ac.uk/id/eprint/6118

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