What's in a name?
Not sure. This fellow's been compared to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Felix Mendelssohn. How many people in the general public have heard of him, though? Makes you wonder (okay, maybe it's just me) if it has anything to do with his name. Because, while that's a great name for a comedian or an eighteenth-century porn star, if one existed, it's a lousy name for a classical composer. Seriously, can you imagine the ribbing a bloke would be in for going through school with a name like "Willie Crotch?" Sure, less than his brother Mike or his sister Fanny, I suppose, but seriously. William Crotch: Classical Composer.
Best known for his work with the organ.
Stop smirking in the back row, young man!
He's an English composer, born on July 5, 1775. A year later and a day earlier, and the Yanks would've claimed him, I suppose. He died in December, 1847, four days after Christmas. He was one of those child prodigies. Before this kid turned four he had played the organ for George III. Apparently he was often bribed to play with sweets and such, which made him a bit of spoiled twat. Crotch later attended Oxford where he studied, predictably, music and for a time held the organist position at Christ Church and later still, St. John's College. He would eventually get himself a doctorate in music, making him "Doctor Crotch."
While in university, he began sketching, and eventually become fairly well-known for his art, some of which hangs in galleries of note. He also penned a handful of largely-forgotten written works related to music.
The most famous musical composition that can be identified as his is the oratorio, Palestine. However, many scholars believe he composed the Westminster Chimes.
Crotch achieved considerable fame in his own time as a performer and teacher and in 1822, he became the first principal of the Royal Academy of Music, a position he held until 1833 (Headmaster Crotch!). Today, his work remains familiar to classical musicians and musical scholars. Except for the Chimes, which may or may not be his, Crotch has not stayed firm in the mind of the general public.