Elisabetta de Gambarini was born in London, the daughter of a bureaucrat. She was identified as having a lovely voice at a young age, performing throughout London when she was still in her teens. She performed and premiered a number of choral and operatic parts by Handel. Descriptions of her tone and range from the mid-eighteenth century suggest that she was a mezzo-soprano. In 1748 she began to publish pieces for both solo harpsichord, as well as voice and accompaniment. Her songs are in both Italian and English. Her most famous song is a setting of “Honour, Riches, Marriage-Blessing,” from Shakespeare’s The Tempest.
- Pamela Youngdahl Dees. A Guide to Piano Music by Women Composers. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2002.
- Diane P. Jezic. Women Composers: The Lost Tradition Found. New York: The Feminist Press at the City University of New York, 1988.
- Anthony F. Noble. “A Contextual Study of the Life and Published Keyboard Works of Elisabetta de Gambarini, together with a Recording, facsimile of the music, and commentary.” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Winchester, 2000.