Henry Purcell (1659-1695) was one of the greatest composers of the Baroque period and one of the greatest of all English composers. He started as a chorister in the Chapel Royal, and then worked as an assistant keeper of the king´s instruments and as an organ tuner. In 1677 he was appointed composer-in-ordinary for the king´s violins and in 1679 succeeded his teacher, Blow, as organist of Westminster Abbey. His earliest surviving works are from around this time and already show a complete command of the craft of composition. In time Purcell became increasingly in demand as a composer, and his theatre music in particular made his name familiar to many who knew nothing of his church or court music. Most of this music consists of songs and instrumental pieces for spoken plays. His only true opera was Dido and Aeneas, one of the finest of 17th-century operas. For the pianist, there are eight keyboard suites as well as numerous smaller pieces, often transcriptions by Purcell of either his own music or of music by others.