Thomas Tallis


Thomas Tallis was a leading English composer of the Renaissance. He was born in the early 16th century. His family could have been linked to the royal court. He worked in a Benedictine priory in Kent, then an Augustinian monastery in Essex, and held a post at Canterbury Cathedral. He was next sent to court as Gentleman of the Chapel Royal. He composed for the subsequent monarchs of England: Henry VIII, Edward VI, Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth I. He died in 1585. He is one of England’s top composers of choral music and a master of polyphonic music. He wrote religious music, masses, psalms, and motets. Among his most popular works are the 40-part motet Spem in alium and Lamentions of Jeremiah.