John Amner (1579–1641)
Born in Ely, Amner was associated with the city and it’s cathedral for most of his life. He was initially a chorister there and in 1610 he was made Informator Choristorum (Master of the Choristers). He was also ordained a priest and was awarded Music degrees from both Oxford and Cambridge Universities. While not as prolific as some of his contemporaries, a number of sacred and instrumental works survive. Some are in scattered manuscripts but his most significant set of compositions are found in his Sacred Hymnes of 3, 4, 5 and 6 parts for the Voyces and Vyols published in London in 1615. The styles on display are unexpectedly wide-ranging – from Italian style canzonets and balletts to complex polyphonic verse anthems and consort songs – and show the work of a skilled musician with a particular interest in musical expression.