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Elias Parish-Alvars (Composer)

Born: 28th February 1808, Teignmouth, Devon

Died: 25th January 1849, Vienna, Austria

Nationality: English

Elias Parish Alvars (surname sometimes given as Parish-Alvars), was an English harpist and composer. He was born as Eli Parish in Teignmouth, Devon; his father was a local organist. His baptismal record at St James’s Church, West Teignmouth, reads: "Eli, son of Joseph and Mary Ann Parish".

Parish gave his first concert in Totnes in 1818 and in 1820 was sent to London to study with Nicolas-Charles Bochsa. In 1822 he applied to the Royal Academy of Music, where Bochsa had been appointed harp professor, but was not accepted, because he could not afford the tuition fees without a scholarship. He was able to continue his lessons with Bochsa by undertaking teaching and playing at dances.

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