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It's an institution that goes back almost 500 years. Today, Judith Weir is Master of the Queen's Music but who were her illustrious predecessors?
The first Master of the King's Musick was Nicholas Lanier, a lutenist, singer and viol player in the court of Charles I. Appointed in 1626, Lanier would be the only Master who seriously attempted to 'rule' all of the musicians in the kingdom as a guild. The post was abolished in 1649 when Charles I was deposed. During the Commonwealth period, Lanier lived in the Netherlands but returned to resume his duties to Charles II in 1660. He died six years later.
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