William Boyce (b. 1711 – d. 7 February 1779) was an English composer and organist. Born in London to John Boyce, a cabinet-maker and joiner, and his wife, Boyce was baptised on 11 September 1711 and was admitted by his father as a choirboy at St Paul's Cathedral in 1719, before studying music with Maurice Greene after his voice broke in 1727. His first professional appointment came in 1734 when he was employed as an organist at the Oxford Chapel. He went on to take a number of similar posts before being appointed Master of the King's Musick in 1755 and becoming one of the organists at the Chapel Royal in 1758. By the year 1758 his deafness had increased to such an extent that he was unable to continue in his organist posts. He resolved to give up teaching and to retire to Kensington, and devote himself to editing the collection of church music which bears his name. He retired and worked on completing the compilation Cathedral Music that his teacher Greene had left incomplete at his death. This led to Boyce editing works by the likes of William Byrd and Henry Purcell. Many of the pieces in the collection are still used in Anglican services today.
He is known for his set of eight symphonies, his anthems and his odes, and also wrote the masque Peleus and Thetis and songs for John Dryden's Secular Masque, incidental music for William Shakespeare's The Tempest, Cymbeline, Romeo and Juliet and The Winter's Tale, and a quantity of chamber music including a set of twelve trio sonatas.
On February 7, 1779 Boyce died from an attack of gout. He was buried under the dome of St Paul's cathedral.
These ten voluntaries were published posthumously in London in 1785, and are true classics of the "style." Much of what we associate with the "Anglican style" really "start" with the music of Boyce. Each of them make for excellent "technical exercises," as none of them are easy.
The score is attached as well as photo of Boyce's portrait (pre-Nutrisystem), ca. 1765-1770.