Biography:W.B. Laybourn

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W.B. Laybourn

 Given name:     W.
 Middle name:     B.
 Family name:     Laybourn
 Place of birth:     Stepney, London
 Place of death:     Edinburgh
 Year of birth:     1835
 Year of death:     1886
 Profile:     Collector, Composer, Editor, Musician
 Source of information:

Biographical notes

From David Baptie's Musical Scotland, Past and Present: Being a Dictionary of Scottish Musicians (p. 228):

Laybourn, W.B. born Stepney, London 1835; died Edinburgh 1886. Violinist. Went to North Shields when about ten years of age, and received some lessons on the violin first from a Mr.Shaw, a cousin of his, and afterwards from a French gentleman. His progress was so rapid that a year or two after he was offered a situation as leader in the Northumberland Concert Hall there. Shortly after he joined a traveling company, owned by Wadforth and Lothian, and when he left it , another belonging to Stewart Bell, a famous scenic artist who is still alive in Sunderland, then with Mr.S.Rotby, a celebrated comedian, and proprietor of the Theatre Royal, North Shields. In 1858 he quitted that town for Dundee, and was leader of the band of the first concert hall opened there. About three and a half years resident in Dundee. In 1861 he went to Edinburgh and played as deputy leader in the Alhambra and Princes theatres, but it was as the teacher of the violin that he is best remembered. His power of writing music from memory, too, was simply marvelous. Unfortunately he gradually aquired somewhat dissipated habits, although, despite this weakness he was both popular and fairly successful in his labours, partly on account of his terms being so very moderate. He was also an able extemporiser on the violin, playing a second violin part to an exercise played by a pupil. A few dance pieces of his composition were published in Köhlers' Violin Repository, of which Mr Laybourn was editor.

It is thought that while resident in Dundee Laybourn became acquainted with the Tyneside hornpipe composer James Hill, some of whose compositions Layborn printed in the Kohlers collections.