Alfonso Ferrabosco II

(1572 [?] - 1628)

English composer, illegitimate son of Alfonso Ferrabosco I, educated at the expense of Queen Elizabeth I. Lutenist to the Earl of Pembroke. Lutenist to the Private Musick of James I 1601-28. Music instructor to the Royal family 1601-28. Composed music for Ben Jonson 1604-09. Musician to Household of Prince Henry, Prince of Wales (d. 1612) 1610-12. Musician to Household of Prince Charles (Charles I) 1617-25. Musician in Ordinary on viols 1625-28. Composer of Music in Ordinary to the King succeeding John Cooper (Coperario) 1626-28 He married Ellen Lanier, daughter of Nicholas Lanier, the Elder, and aunt of Nicholas Lanier, the artist-musician. Among their children were the musicians Alphonse Ferrabosco III, Henry Ferrabosco, and John Ferrabosco.

Alfonso Ferrabosco II published ayres, wrote songs for Ben Jonson's masques in 1605-9, and contributed three anthems to Leighton's Teares. His viol music is of the highest quality, and includes some 50 fancies and dance pieces. Works include: Masque of Blackness (Twelfth Night) by Ben Jonson (1604-05); Hymenaei (Masque) by Ben Jonson (1605-06); Masque of Beauty by Ben Jonson (1607-08); Masque for Lord Harrington's Marriage by Ben Jonson (1607-08); Masque of Queens by Ben Jonson (1608-09); Booke of Ayres (1609); Booke of Lessons for 1, 2, and 3 Viols (1609); Oberon, The Faery Prince, A Masque of Prince Henries by Ben Jonson (1611)

A PartialAlfonso Ferrabosco II Discography  |   IV M: England Through 1635  | Guide to English Song in the Elizabethan and Stuart Ages   |   The English Lutenists