06. William Shield: no Geordie Dick Whittington, with Amélie Addison

About the Episode

William Shield was born in the village of Swalwell near Gateshead in County Durham. Through the help of his friend, the poet and actor John Cunningham, he became the leader of the Durham Theatre Company band in the 1760s providing him with the opportunity to develop his compositional abilities. After moving to London, he pursued a successful career performing and writing stage works at the Theatre Royal Covent Garden where he earned the respect of Haydn. Shield was made Master of the King’s Musick in 1817.

Amélie Addison’s research has uncovered previously unexplored details of William Shield’s social background, his early career in the North, and his compositional influences, offering a new perspective on how these works reflect contemporary perceptions of national identity and culture.

Dr Amélie Addison received her PhD from the University of Leeds’ School of Music in 2023.



Featuring Dan Brown

Tyneside and Border melodies: ‘The Keel Row’; ‘Water of Tyne’; ‘Gan’t’ the kye’; ‘Down the bourne’; arranged by William Shield, adapted and performed by Due Corde: Anne Marie Christensen-Brown (baroque violin), Amélie Addison (baroque cello).

‘Op 1 1.1 Allegro moderato’: Music arranged and composed by William Shield,  adapted and performed by Due Corde: Anne Marie Christensen-Brown (baroque violin), Amélie Addison (baroque cello).

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