Robert Parsons (c.1535-1572)
Much of the fame of Robert Parsons today rests on his stunningly beautiful setting of Ave Maria, whilst the rest of his output has suffered. Together with composers such as William Mundy and Robert White, he cultivated the genre of the Elizabethan Psalm motet and also wrote music in English for the new Anglican Church. Although only a dozen or so pieces have survived, his music demonstrates he was one of the finest composers of his day and excelled in all the styles and genres he worked in. He met his death tragically early by drowning in the River Trent in 1572 and was replaced as a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal by William Byrd.