Thomas Linley the younger
Thomas Linley (born Bath, England, 5 May 1756; died Grimsthorpe, Lincs 5 Aug 1778) was an English composer and violinist. He was born in the same year as Mozart and, like Mozart, he was an astonishing child prodigy. He would almost certainly have been one of England’s greatest composers if he had not died at the age of 22.
Thomas came from a musical family. His father, also called Thomas Linley, was a composer, singing teacher and harpsichord player. His young son was soon showing exceptional musical skills. We do not know who taught him the violin in his early years, but people writing at the time all say he was a brilliant player. He went to Italy to study the violin and composition with Nardini in Florence. He met Mozart there in 1770 and he also met Charles Burney in the same year. Burney wrote that Linley was the most promising genius of the time.
He died in a boating accident when he was on holiday with his family in Lincolnshire.
- New Groves Dictionary of Music & Musicians, ed. Stanley Sadie, London 1980, ISBN 1-56159-174-2