Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement/Arnold, George Benjamin

1491395Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement, Volume 1 — Arnold, George Benjamin1912Frederick Corder

ARNOLD, GEORGE BENJAMIN (1832–1902), organist and musical composer, born on 22 Dec. 1832 at Petworth, Sussex, was son of George Frederick Arnold, organist of the parish church there, by his wife Mary. He was articled to George William Chard [q. v.], the organist of Winchester Cathedral, in 1849, and on Chard's death the articles were transferred to his successor, Dr. Samuel Sebastian Wesley [q. v.]. Arnold was organist successively at St. Columba's College, Rathfarnham, near Dublin (1852), St. Mary's Church, Torquay (1856), and New College, Oxford (1860). He graduated Mus. Bac. at Oxford in 1853 and Mus. Doc. in 1860. In 1865 he succeeded Wesley at Winchester, retaining the post for the rest of his life. He was a fellow of the College of Organists, acting long as an examiner for that body. He died at Winchester on 31 Jan. 1902, and was buried there. He married on 6 June 1867 Mary Lucy Roberts, who survived him with three sons and a daughter. An alabaster tablet to his memory, with a quotation from one of his works, was placed in the north transept of the cathedral in 1904.

Arnold, whose sympathies were with Bach and his school, was a composer, chiefly of church music. His published compositions include a national song, 'Old England' (1854); an oratorio, 'Ahab,' produced by the National Choral Society at Exeter Hall (1864); 'Sennacherib,' a sacred cantata, produced at the Gloucester festival of 1883; 'The Song of the Redeemed,' written for and produced at St. James's Church, New York (1891); 'An orchestral introduction and chorus in praise of King Alfred,' performed at the inauguration of the Alfred Memorial at Winchester in 1901, besides two motets, two psalms, anthems, part songs, and two sonatas.

[Musical Times, Nov. 1901, March 1902 (with portrait), May 1902; Brown and Stratton, Musical Biog., 1897; Brit. Mus. Cat.; private information.]

F. C.