James Hook (1746-1827) was an English composer and organist. He displayed a remarkable musical talent at an early age, playing the harpsichord by the age of four and performing concertos in public at the age of six. Hook was appointed organist and composer to Marylebone Gardens in 1768. In addition to his performances as an organist, and occasionally on the harpsichord, he was now invited to perform concertos between the main works in the theatres, and his short musical entertainments and comic operas were being produced for the pleasure gardens and in the London theatres. He was appointed organist of St John’s Church Horselydown, Bermondsey, in 1772, and frequently played concerts on newly built organs, both in London and in nearby counties, often playing his own compositions; he was highly successful as a teacher of organ and harpsichord. Hook remained at Marylebone Gardens until the end of the 1773 season, and a year later was engaged in a similar position at Vauxhall Gardens, where he worked until 1820. Throughout these years he composed operas and other musical works, most of which were produced at Drury Lane and Covent Garden Theatres.
His Allegro is currently on the ABRSM Grade 3 piano list and is the first movement of the Sonatina in F.
Jonathan Bunney MMus (dist) FRCO
Director of Music